Labor Department: Layoffs, Discharges Jump 9.5M In March


As the pandemic quickly transformed the labor market, layoffs in the U.S. surged to an all-time high in March. The count of individuals resigning from their positions fell to the lowest level in four and a half years, Reuters reported.

In its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) survey, the Labor Department indicated that discharges as well as layoffs rose to 11.4 million by 9.5 million in March. Economic Policy Institute Senior Economist Elise Gould said per the report, “Latest JOLTS data further illustrates the catastrophic COVID-19 labor market.”

The food services and accommodation vertical had 4.1 million staffers receive pink slips, while 908,000 people lost their positions in the retail industry. And the tally of individuals resigning from their positions voluntarily declined to 2.78 million by 654,000.

In addition, the government indicated that job openings fell to 6.19 million by 813,000 on March’s final business day. In January 2019, vacancies hit a hit of 7.52 million. Also, the job openings rate declined from February’s 4.4 percent to March’s 3.9 percent.

Nonessential companies, for their part, closed in the middle of March to stem the spread of the coronavirus. And the government noted that the economy lost 20.5 million positions last month, which is said to be the steepest drop in payrolls as of the Great Depression.

As previously reported, the pandemic is set to take away 6.7 percent of working hours throughout the world in Q2, or the equivalent of 195 million full weeks of full-time staffers per the United Nations in April.

The result marked a sharp increase from the past International Labor Organization (ILO) forecast of 25 million positions lost because of the displacement of normal life and work caused by the pandemic.

The UN said the deciding factor in the ultimate numbers of worldwide unemployment will be if the economy can rebound in any fashion in the latter half of 2020, and if policy measures that different governments take can bolster demand for labor.