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MNI: Total US nonfarm employment fell by 20.5 million in April, after posting an
upwardly revised -870,000 drop in March (previously -701,000). April's m/m drop
is "the largest in the history of the series" (which began in 1948), according
to the BLS, and sunk employment to 14.7% as the US economy continues to real
from the fallout of Covid-19 and social distancing measures. The m/m loss was
only slightly better than the -22 million job loss and 16.0% unemployment
expected by markets. Leisure and hospitality took the biggest hits, dropping by
-7.653 million jobs. Total private payrolls overall fell by -19.520 million.
Retail trade, professional business services, and education and health services
all saw job losses over -2 million while US manufacturing saw a -1.3 million
hit. Government payrolls also fell by -980,000. Average hourly earnings
skyrocketed by +4.7% against March's revised +0.5% uptick. The positive jolt to
hourly earnings reflects "substantial job loss among lower-paid workers," the
BLS said, which "put upward pressure" on average hourly earning estimates. The
labor force participation rate fell by -2.5% to 60.2%, the lowest rate since
January 1973 (60.0%).