April Jobs Report Highlights

The pre-release anticipation of an extremely negative Unemployment Report did not disappoint. But, it could have been worse. Non-Farm Payrolls fell by 20.5M and that was not quite as bad as the 22M that many expected. The Unemployment Rate soared to 14.7% while surveys suggested it might be as high as 16%. Feel better? Average Hourly Earnings managed a huge jump of 4.7% but that was significantly skewed by the composition of who’s still working and who isn’t. Average Weekly Hours stayed at 34.2 against an expected decline to 33.5, but that figure was also affected by the changes in who’s still working and what they’re working at. The Labor Force Participation Rate fell from 62.7% to 60.2% and that was further than the expected dip to 61%. Manufacturing lost 1.33M Jobs while Hospitality and Leisure lost almost 8M jobs. The U-6 Underemployment Rate rose to 22.8% from 8.7%.

Nevertheless, equity markets are still poised to open solidly in the green while Treasury prices are slipping a bit. The Ten-Year is off about a quarter-point for a yield of around 65 basis points.