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Weekly economic review & outlook First wave of COVID-19 job losses hits

April 06, 2020

You Need to Know

Week in review

Payrolls decline in March but the worst is still on the way

The economy shed 701,000 jobs in March, led by the hospitality sector. The spike in jobless claims in the second half of the month portends record losses for April.

Business activity down but not sharply yet

The ISM business surveys for manufacturing and services dropped in March but likely don’t show the full effect of the COVID-19 shutdown yet.

Week Ahead


CPI and core CPI diverging

While moderate growth is expected in the core CPI, the overall CPI is expected to decline due to plummeting oil prices in March.

Weekly initial jobless claims should fall, but remain extremely high

While initial jobless claims may not match last week’s record level and gain, they will still remain at a figure not seen before COVID-19.

Nonfarm payroll employment dropped by 701,000 for March — the first monthly decline since September 2010. This was despite the survey data being collected during the week including March 12, prior to many of the stay-at-home government mandates and the spike in unemployment claims. The hospitality sector was hit the hardest, shedding 459,000 jobs, as the start of the economic shutdown impacted many restaurants and tourism operations first.