The Latest Jobs Report Shows Devastating Employment Losses

May 11, 2020
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The Department of Labor released its latest jobs report data on Friday, confirming what many analysts had predicted earlier in the week.

The Coronavirus Pandemic has led to sweeping job losses across industries, although workers in Leisure and Hospitality have suffered the biggest impact. The unemployment rate is now the highest that it has been since the 1940s, with many economists comparing today’s conditions to the Great Depression.

Here’s what investors need to know about the latest data.

U.S. Jobs Report By the Numbers

During April, 20.5 million American jobs were lost. This was ten times higher than the previous record decline in 1945. The unemployment rate has now hit 14.7%, the highest it has ever been in the modern era.

Due to the unique conditions of ongoing lockdowns, some industries have been hit harder than others.

  • The Leisure and Hospitality industry saw the worst losses with -7.7 million jobs lost.
  • Education and Health Services lost -2.5 million jobs.
  • Professional and Business Services lost -2.1 million jobs.
  • Retail Trade lost -2.1 million jobs.
  • Manufacturing lost -1.3 million jobs.
  • Other Services lost -1.3 million jobs.
  • Government lost -980,000 jobs.
  • Construction lost -975,000 jobs.
  • Transportation and Warehousing lost -584,100 jobs.
  • Wholesale Trade lost -362,800 jobs.
  • Financial Activities lost -262,000 jobs.
  • Information lost -254,000 jobs.
  • Mining and Logging lost -50,000 jobs.
  • Utilities lost -3,300 jobs.

The huge losses in Leisure and Hospitality are unsurprising at this point. Lockdown restrictions have heavily disrupted the tourism market. International leisure travel is at a near standstill. Hotels and similar establishments are seeing their lowest occupancy rates in years.

The news is concerning, especially for investors engaged in the stock market. However, there is some silver lining to be found. Key industries like Mining and Logging and Utilities have seen less impact than others. The figures can help to guide investment decisions, by showing which industries could have some form of stability during the pandemic.

Stocks Rallied on Friday

Going by the jobs report, many assumed that the stock market would come tumbling down on Friday. However, the exact opposite happened. Markets closed off a rallying week with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 1.91%, the S&P 500 gaining 1.69%, and the NASDAQ Composite gaining 1.58%.

Investors are taking the data into account, but there’s also optimism that we’ve seen the worst of the Coronavirus impact. Investors can still find plenty of opportunities in the current market, especially with many of the most promising growth stocks being heavily discounted from previous peaks

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