The BLS reported this morning that in April the economy shed another 539,000 jobs. The U3 unemployment rate also increased to 8.9%. This is a .4% increase from March, and is what I expected.
This is one of those cases where "less awful" actually ought to give rise to some hope. Before Black September, when we had a shallow recession confined to Wall Street and housing-related trades, the worst month for payroll loss was (- 175,000). By November the loss was (- 597,000), and from December through March losses were clustered near (- 700,000) a month!.
April's payroll loss of -539,000 is ~140,000 less than the last 4 months. If this new trend continues for another 3 months, payroll losses will vanish and the economy might actually begin to add jobs by August.
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