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The Employment Situation – March 2020

Updated : August 4th, 2020

The Employment Situation March 2020

Due to the devastating effects of COVID-19, the nonfarm payroll fell by 701,000 in March and, the unemployment rate spiked up to 4.4%. It is the first decline in payroll since September 2010. 

March saw the unemployment percentage increase by 0.9%, which is the highest over the month increase since January 1975. March also saw the number of unemployed people rise from 1.4 million to 7.1 million. 

 The unemployment rate, which rose to 4.4%, is the highest since August 2017. Its effects can be seen throughout several industries. The leisure and hospitality industry, professional and business services, social assistance industry, retail trade, and construction were some of the worst affected due to the ongoing pandemic.

Due to several layoffs across industries, unemployment claims spiked across the country. Several state unemployment offices could not take the increased pressure of applications, causing their servers to crash. The Federal government and state governments are trying their best to expand the unemployment insurance framework so that unemployed people receive benefits ASAP. To know more about filing for UI in the times of COVID-19 click here

Here Are Some Key Takeaways About The Unemployment Report

Major Ups and Downs in March

459,000 job losses took place in the leisure and hospitality industry. Most of the job losses took place in the food and beverage vertical. The accommodation industry also saw a loss of 29,000 jobs in March. 

The health care and social assistance industry also took a big hit due to the ongoing pandemic. Employment dropped by 61,000 in March, with dentists, physicians, and a lot of general health practitioners losing their jobs. This industry was doing reasonably well over the last year, adding 374,000 jobs, but COVID-19 changed things drastically.

19,000 jobs were lost in the social assistance vertical, with the largest amount of job losses taking place in child daycare services. 

The professional and business services sector saw job losses of 52,000, with the temporary health services sector getting hit the hardest. 

The retail trade sector saw  46,000 job losses. The sectors affected were clothing accessory stores, furniture stores, and music stores.

The construction industry saw a decrease of 29,000 jobs in March, with the nonresidential and civil engineering construction sector getting hit the most. The mining industry was also hit hard and saw job losses of 6,000 

Not all hope was lost, as the Federal Government employment increased by 18,000, and general merchandising stores hired 10,000 people. 

Establishment Survey Data

The average hourly earnings for private nonfarm payroll employees went up by 11% and currently stands at $28.62. There was a slight decrease in the average workweek for all private nonfarm payroll workers, and it dropped by 0.2 hours to 34.2 hours. 

The hourly earnings for private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees spiked up by 10 cents to $24.07. Production and nonsupervisory employee’s average workweek decreased by 0.3 hours to 33.4 hours. 

The number of jobless people who were out of work for more than 5 weeks, increased unemployment to 1.5 million. The labor force participation rate decreased by 0.7 percent in March and currently stands at 62.7%. A total of 109,000 discouraged workers believed that there were no jobs available for them in March. 

  Household Survey Data

Workers Group  Unemployment Rate
Adult Men 4 percent
Adult Women 4 percent 
Teenagers 14.3 percent 
White Population 6.7 percent
Black Population 4.1 percent
Asian Population  6 percent
Hispanics  6 percent

There was an increase in unemployment for all workers groups in March, except for the black population, which saw a decline in the unemployment rate compared to February.  

Conclusion 

Clearly, COVID-19 has had a terrible impact on the job market. What’s yet to be seen is,  how fast the American economy can rise to the challenge and conquer this problem. Back when the recession hit in 2008, it took a couple of years for the economy and job market to bounce back. Let’s hope things getter better, much faster this time around.

 

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  1. So I have been getting ue for 6 months and on Oct 21 I had a fact finding issue found and cleared after taking a month, I got put on hold I got nothing no benefits nothing because I am on hold until cleared up and it was another month later in my favor, I’ve been without payment since Oct 21 since then I have been on HOLD, I am beyond pissed, I call every Fri I see the letter I received saying its in my favor that says I am Monetary Eligible-yet I still have 6 payments on hold. I call DEO and I talk, I beg and I get told “we are working on it”, the letter is in my favor I am poor not rich I am poor Why how do you people get away with this

  2. Hello

    I’m 59 years old and was laid off in March 2020 due to Covid.
    In June 2020 I was advised my job was eliminated and there is no chance of me
    Being brought back. I’m collecting UI since March.

    Pondering the thought of taking my early retirement pension as I can’t survive on
    UI any longer. My pension is of course reduced due to my age. Full pension is age 62.

    If I apply for early reduced pension in this situation, does my UI benefit get decreased? I’m in New York.
    I’m still looking for full time work. No luck.

    Thank you so much
    Lorraine

  3. i was just layed off from my job, i did collect benefits in pa. my job is seasonal igot unemployment payments in jan. to april i had 26 weeks of unemployment , but only used about 13 weeks, and was called back to work. i received 2 weeks of 600 dollars of stimlus money. my question is now that i reopened my 2020 claim . i,m i still elegibe for any more stimlus payments along with my regular unemployment payments.

  4. I am 65 yrs old in California and being layed off in Dec 2020. If I apply for unemployment benefits and collect a company pension, will the pension reduce the unemployment benefits ? If you answer call unemployment what is the department or do you have a phone number for a help line. I have called and get automated questions that do not apply to my situation.
    Cannot get to a live person.

  5. Several years ago I was part of a reduction in force and was early-retired for pension purposes. I count on this small pension ($2K/mo) to supplement my employment which has been inconsistent this past two years. I am filing for UI in IL and I qualify for it, but they are saying my pension reduces my UI benefit to zero. Is that right?

    1. Mike,

      That is partially right. The pension will have an impact on UI benefits. Please check for relevant info on the Unemployment Office’s website.

  6. I have $219.00 left on my UE and still no work due to covid-19 will i be able to get a extension on my UE and will it cover the last two weeks. I request payment tomorrow.

      1. My benefits have expired, still.unemployed due to over 65, wdiebrtes, high blood pressure and have one kidney, Can I get PUA , Cares Act for any assistance

  7. im working at a place i have been layed off from a lot in my career.i got 30 yrs in there so i can retire now but need another job to make it hoping to stay working and get more hours.If i take a new job and get layed off there I will BE DRAWING 1400 A MONTH FROM THE JOB I WORKED 30 YRS would i be able to draw unemployment if the new job lays me off and would it be reduced because of my retirement money of 1400 month.

  8. My bf was laid off in April he got the the 600 to start with now he is only getting the unemployment and no extra when we hear ppl getting 3 checks totaling 40k that might be lies but still that is bullshit.

  9. I Sharon Bland or Sharon Scott or Sharon Ann Mccraw
    Use my phone to claim two of my boyfriends and my own benefits. Is that ok ?

  10. I’m getting pua on employment and it was supposed to be backdated to May 27th when I wasn’t ableable to start my new job and somehow it’s August 24th they said it would be backdated been sending messages and pua people keep saying they have emailed you guys too but nobody gets back to me who do I need to contact about this thank you

  11. I check my checking account balance every week but I cannot tell if I am getting my 300.00 extra unemployment. Also. How can I tell if I got my back time unemployment .

    1. Thelma,

      I did not understand what you meant. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for precise answers to all your questions.

  12. I have exhausted my UI and all extensions. Not eligible for Fed Ed. Does EDD open a PUA claim for me. Or do I have to aoole for it. Its been past 30 days since receiving my Fed Ed denial letter.

  13. i have been unemployed for the whole year almost and since i have been trying to distance myself to better my all around health, it took me this long to file for benefits, i was hoping to get back pay all the way to the beginning.

    1. Zach,

      To qualify, the claimant is required to have sufficient earnings/employment during the “Base Period”. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website for more.

  14. Thank you o much for investigating this. When I received an overpayment statement and my benefits where stopped I felt my heart drop to my stomach. Already being evicted by a slumlord and now no income, i had to start working when i feel very at risk for getting the virus because of pre-existing conditions and the reason for filing in the first place. i am a cosmetologist and considered non-essential. I feel utterley hopeless and helpless in this situation.

  15. I cannot contact anyone in the unemployment offices because the phone hangs up on me in all cases after listening over and over the recorded message. I have called three numbers .

    I have received pandemic unemployment since March 31st. There was a pending adjudication but I never received any questions, letters nor emails about it and I was approved and paid. Now…this is what the website says:
    7 of 7 entries
    Issue Identification Number Employer Name Issue Type Status Date Mailed Level
    0002 7693 59-01
    PUA Pending 11/16/2020 Adjudication
    0002 4773 71-01
    Program Integrity Mailed 11/6/2020 Adjudicati
    Claimant Inbox
    Select the Search button to display your action items. To narrow your search, input issue date range below and select the Search button.
    Issue Date: From: To: 11/6/2020 to 11/16/2020
    Inbox
    • Below are the items that require your attention and that you need to take action on for your claim.
    • Select the Document ID
    I need this money to survive as others do while I am trying to re-establish any contract freelance work I am capable of doing….I report my small jobs as I get them but they do not come close to equaling my unemployment as of yet. Please tell me where I can go to find out what is needed here.

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