Official ugly news for April: employment numbers are whacked

Headline statement from the Employment Situation Summary released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 20.5 million in April, and the unemployment rate rose to 14.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.


The always beautiful and easily read graphs published at Calculated Risk beautifully paint an ugly picture:

Per Calculated Risk: The unemployment rate increased in April to 14.7%. This was close to consensus expectations of 21,000,000 jobs lost, and February and March were revised down by 214,000 combined. This was the worst employment report ever, and the report for May will also be horrible.

Let’s all be careful out there.

This is likely to be deemed a “reallocation shock” (pdf) — meaning that a lot of the lost jobs aren’t coming back. Workers will need to retrain themselves for new jobs. That takes time.