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742,000 Jobs Lost In March

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Right now it’s the biggest one month drop in American history, and it’s up by about 50,000 over February’s record numbers.

From Reuters:

Private employers cut jobs by a record 742,000 in March versus a 706,000 revised cut in February that was originally reported at 697,000 jobs, said ADP, which has been carrying out the survey since 2001.

The big drop foreshadows a huge decline in the non-farm payroll reading in the government’s employment report that will be released on Friday, some analysts said.

“It’s a terrible number. It is almost a loss of three quarters of a million jobs which is possibly the highest we have seen so far over the length of this crisis,” said Matt Esteve, foreign exchange trader with Tempus Consulting in Washington.

But let’s remember…employment numbers are a trailing indicator. So with the stock market going back up and a few economic indicators getting better, this could represent a bottom.

Still, I wouldn’t hold my breath when you have such a steep drop from one month to the next. Because usually what you’d see is a couple months where the numbers remained steady. We thought we saw that back in January, but that was due to the holiday season spending. After that time, people stopped spending and if they stop spending then companies are forced to cut staff. No real way around that.

More as it develops…