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The US job market had a hell of a March, and not in a good way. The US economy lost more jobs than it gained for the first time since 2010, and the 701k lost was the worst since the Great Recession in March of 2009.

Not surprisingly, the unemployment rate climbed to 4.4%, despite previously sitting at a 50 year low of 3.5%. That 4+% rate was the highest in the US since 2017.

Exceeding expectations

Both the job loss and unemployment rate surpassed analyst expectations. Many estimates put the payroll decline at just 100k, with a 3.9% unemployment rate. Can’t be disappointed in us now, can you, mom and dad?

It’s worth noting that the April jobs report could be even worse. That report, due to be released May 8th, will include the nearly 10M who have filed for unemployment since the beginning of the US’ coronavirus lock down.

Economists believe the job market will fall by another 20M jobs in April, beating the 800k drop experienced during the Great Depression.

The bottom line...

At least a few hopeless romantics believe that while things might look bleak, the recovery could be faster than we expect. Despite the St. Louis Fed saying unemployment rates could reach upwards of 32%, exceeding Great Depression levels, the conditions are there for an accelerated turnaround.

Currently, we’re facing a demand-side recession. Compared with the recession of 2008 and those prior, Americans aren’t afraid to spend money, they just have nowhere to spend it.

These eternal optimists believe the economic recovery could be a nice, steep V-shape, versus a drawn-out recession. Take that, bears.

The US economy lost 701,000 jobs in March — worst report since 2009 [CNN]

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