Thursday, April 16, 2020

Real time labor market survey

Alex Blick and Adam Blandin are putting together a real-time labor market survey.
Labor market statistics for the United States are collected once a month and published with a three week delay. .... Currently, the most recent statistics refer to the week of March 8- 14; new statistics will not be available until May 8...
This project aims to provide data on labor market conditions every other week, and to publish results the same week, thereby reducing the information lag. We do so via an online labor market survey of a sample representative of the US working age population. Our core survey closely follows the CPS, which allows us to construct estimates consistent with theirs.
The first wave of our survey covers the week of March 29-April 4. Our findings reveal un- precedented changes in the US labor market since the most recent CPS data were collected:
1. The employment rate decreased from 72.7% to 60.7%, implying 24 million jobs lost.
2. The unemployment rate increased from 4.5% to 20.2%.
3. Hours worked per working age adult declined 25% from the second week of March.  Half of this decline is due to lower hours per employed as opposed to lower employment.
4. Over 60% of work hours were from home, compared with roughly 10% in 2017-2018.
5. Those who still have their jobs are working fewer hours; 21% report a decline in earnings.
6. Declines were most pronounced for workers who were female, older, and less educated. 

Bottom line, even worse than you thought. Well, if we shut down the economy, we shut down the economy.

1 comment:

  1. If national output is proportional to the labor-force employment rate, then, as a rough estimate, national output declined 16.5% in the period March 29th thru April 4th from the prior period. If GDP is $22 trillion in a given year, a 16.5% decline in output represents a reduction of $3.6 trillion in one week annualized. This, admittedly rough, estimate speaks to the anxiety around delaying the re-opening of those sectors of the national economy that have been shut by government decree to "fight" the SARS-CoV-2 virus epidemic. The scale of the economic damage is astonishing. By way of comparison, gross private savings and investment for 2019 logged in at $4.7 trillion.


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