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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. I had trouble getting my proof of self-employment to upload in secure file exchange and finally got it submitted by 12:06 am , 6 minutes late. What are the possibilities that they will deny it? I have received unemployment from March 2020 to some of Jan and some in Feb 2021. Most of Dec, Jan, Feb, March, & april were stopped for this proof of employment.
    Also, I see proof of Income as a 2nd issue but it is always on there. That was not on my TO DO list.
    I feel for u all on ID.ME…

    Anyone trying to reach UI, call their number, press 2 or 3 (questions abt filing a claim?) and then wait thru the message. At the end of it, u will be connected to a live person! I promise.. don’t push another button.. I’ve done it 4 times and it never failed.

    We lost our home, my ex took my child…. (kept her after a visit and called cps facilitating drama while the cops wouldn’t give her back without paperwork locked up in the court house..shut down for covid) I raised her by myself for 12 years & now she is with a violent alcoholic and parental alienating parent .. ….my dog, my 9-year sweet little best friend, was attacked, passing away 3 days later.. all in this time frame.
    But! It will all be ok. I have faith.

    Be grateful for your life and all that is in it today. What u dwell on daily will be your strength or weakness.
    Good luck to all of u.
    And thank you, Jeff, for responding out here. It is appreciated!
    Davulia S.

  2. I filed over two months ago. I have not received any information. My status says “pending resolution”. I have no way of contacting anyone. My position was eliminated at my job and I submitted the documentations online. I dont know what else I can do.

  3. I have been apply Ohio Pua unemployment since July 5th still pending issues. Upload what they ask for when ever I call says your case is in Adjudication. Very very frustrated, financially I am broke. Health issues. Waiting a long period.Don’t know what I will do ?

    1. Nafisa,

      I can understand your situation. There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

    2. Same here since Feb 2021 turned in all the documents still pending issues 3 months now. When you call they tell you to be patient. Pulling my hair out it’s so frustrating.

  4. I was receiving PUA unemployment. they made me file for a new claim in February. Now I am in adjudication even though I gave all the same information from my previous claim. Have been adjudication since February and I call and they say they will put in a ticket to have an Adjudicator call me. Nothing. I am wondering If I can go down to to Maryland Unemployment Office and demand that someone talk with me to release my claim for payment. It’s been 56 days. I read that they have a maximum of 45 days.

    1. Luis,

      Your adjudicator may be inundated with pending cases. Please continue to follow up (if you have the contact details) or consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

    2. t sounds just like mine only im disqualified yet actie every till sept 4th . they haven’t asked me for anything! i file then its disqualified yet im told im ok and have nothing to do bit wait for an answer? answer to what? they switched my program and all and asked me to provide proof for a claim that wa denied al eady back in 2018! deny me once and then again perhaps? lol idk

  5. My mom had unemployment in Florida. She just recently moved temporally to California with a sister since she needs assistance, and now the website is telling her she cannot do anything because she is register in another state. Can she keep filing unemployment in Florida, even if she is living and register now in another state? how is the process to change the unemployment? I tried calling and there is no answer. Thank you!

    1. Stephanie,

      Please ask your mother to consider transferring the UI benefits from FL to CA (details will be available on either of the websites). If there are benefits weeks left in the account, she will be able to claim them.

    1. Leatha,

      UI benefits are offered to claimants who lose employment involuntarily and be able to and available for work.

  6. I lived in ga in 2019 and move to florida in 2020 and work for the xmas months in nov-dec. I was told to do a combine wage claim. my question is which state do i file the claim in?

  7. I filed for pua in Ohio back in October 2020.My claim has been in ajudacatuon since 11/1/20.So 2 to 6 weeks is a total understatement! When I call.i am told to basically hurry up and wait some more.I have recently been redetermined and my claim is allowed.but I have one pending issue.How long is too long?

    1. Nicole,

      Unfortunately, nobody has an answer. There are perhaps thousands of pending applications. Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

  8. If you claim your weeks for unemployment and for the next 2 months you still have not received your money. Where can you go in volusia county to talk with a live person

      1. HI Jeff,
        I applied back in Dec 5th, 2020 and I haven’t received any correspondence, is there a local office that I can make an appt to make certain my claim is right.

        1. Adam,

          You can consider visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible (details will be available on the Unemployment Office’s website).

  9. On NYS DOL website, my claim is saying current yet the information is for my old claim with 0 days remaining despite receiving 2 weeks of payments on the new claim and I was able to certify last night. I haven’t received anything; no letters or emails.

  10. I was disqualified for UI benefits for not providing an ID and other forms of identification. How do I fix this?

        1. Gary,

          You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

    1. Hi Mike, I’m in NYS and was at the end of my BYE on 3/14, I was still certifying but wasn’t getting paid. I found out I had to file a new claim because my other was exhausted. I’m still waiting on approval. Maybe you have to file a new claim. I hope this helps.

  11. They say 2-6 weeks it’s more accurate to say 2-6 months; and when you call many of them are rude and unwilling to assist!

  12. someone needs to look into Sharon L. Anton gillette, wyo. or dickinson, nd she is a fraud and has done so many fraudulent things and please look into her

    1. Annette,

      Please report it to the Fraud Division of the Unemployment Office in your state. You can report on the website.

  13. I worked part time for thee years here in florida. I’m currently not working. I’m also retired and collects social security.
    My question is
    Am I qualified to file for unemployment ?

    1. Ruby,

      To be eligible, you’re required to have sufficient hours and earnings. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website.

  14. So adjudication takes 8 to 12 weeks. Oh okay, that explains why I havent received payment since July. That surely helps just like the rest of the information that you give. And by the way. What’s the NEW reason you can’t get through to the Call Center.

    1. Maria,
      I have gotten through to the call center (live agent) every time i’ve tried calling within the last 2 weeks. The number to a live agent (follow the prompts carefully) is (667)-207-6520. i have gotten through within 10 to 15 mins with each call i had made!

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