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Macroeconomic & Geopolitical

A Shocking (But Complicated) Employment Report Next Friday

29 April 2020 - 3 min read

Unemployment will clearly skyrocket, yet the April Employment Report next Friday won’t tell the full story, and the impacts will differ by state and industry.

Unemployment near 15%? Initial claims have declined for three consecutive weeks—confirming we have passed the peak—but the level remains unfathomably high. The April 23 claims report coincides with the April payroll reference week, and we have seen a cumulative 26.7 million rise in claims between the March and April reference weeks. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests this translates to a 21% unemployment rate, assuming the labor force remains at March levels and those unemployed in March continue to be unemployed. However, there are many nuances that could easily lead to a different and much lower number.


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