5/12: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

April employment rolls fall by 20.5 million, but 87 percent of those were temporary

Total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 20.5 million in April, and the official unemployment rate increased by 10.3 percentage points to 14.7 percent. However, the number of unemployed persons who reported being on temporary layoff increased about ten-fold to 18.1 million (87 percent of total unemployed), while the number of permanent job losers increased by 544,000 to 2.0 million (9.7 percent).



Consumers pull back sharply on credit card use in March

Consumer credit use fell by 3.4 percent during March.  Revolving credit (such as for credit cards) plummeted at an annual rate of 30.9 percent, while nonrevolving credit (such as for student loans and car loans) increased at an annual rate of 6.2 percent.



April Employment Trends Index down 25 percent from March and 60 percent year-on-year

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) declined further in April, following a sharp decline in March. The index now stands at 43.43, down from 57.87 (a downward revision) in March. The index is down 60.2 percent from a year ago.  However, beginning in May or June, the number of workers returning to work will likely be larger than the number being furloughed or laid off. This would mean the unemployment rate will start to decline.



Morning Consult:  Consumer confidence decline varies between states

Over the past three months, consumers across all 50 states have reacted similarly to the coronavirus pandemic. Consumer confidence begins to fall on or around March 10, and it continues to decline through the middle of April. These state-level trends are broadly consistent with the U.S. population. While the timing of the decrease and subsequent stabilization is roughly consistent across states, the severity of the fall differs from one state to another. The two largest outliers during the highly volatile period from mid-March through mid-April are Nebraska and New Mexico, with Nebraska falling the most and New Mexico falling the least.