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Nonfarm payroll employment down 701,000 in March 2020

April 07, 2020

Total nonfarm payroll employment fell sharply in the month ending during the second week of March 2020 (−701,000), reflecting the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and efforts to contain it. About two-thirds of the drop occurred in leisure and hospitality. Notable employment declines also occurred in health care and social assistance, professional and business services, retail trade, and construction. In the prior 12 months, nonfarm employment growth had averaged 196,000 per month.

Monthly employment level changes by industry, seasonally adjusted
Month Total nonfarm Total private Mining and logging Construction Manufacturing Wholesale trade Retail trade Transportation and warehousing Utilities

Mar 2015

71,000 79,000 -16,000 -27,000 11,000 1,800 12,600 13,000 300

Apr 2015

284,000 249,000 -16,000 58,000 6,000 -3,600 19,200 6,900 300

May 2015

331,000 324,000 -23,000 35,000 15,000 7,500 29,000 22,200 1,400

Jun 2015

174,000 171,000 -4,000 14,000 1,000 -2,300 22,800 27,100 -1,000

Jul 2015

302,000 267,000 -11,000 31,000 15,000 500 20,300 23,400 1,500

Aug 2015

125,000 115,000 -11,000 18,000 -4,000 400 -1,300 10,800 1,100

Sep 2015

155,000 175,000 -15,000 18,000 9,000 -9,600 5,200 9,000 -1,000

Oct 2015

306,000 290,000 -8,000 39,000 8,000 1,500 32,500 400 -300

Nov 2015

237,000 212,000 -15,000 51,000 -5,000 900 19,600 15,900 100

Dec 2015

273,000 257,000 -10,000 32,000 5,000 -1,700 4,000 31,300 -600

Jan 2016

73,000 52,000 -15,000 -10,000 17,000 600 25,700 -27,700 -300

Feb 2016

263,000 237,000 -20,000 30,000 -12,000 -1,700 47,200 13,500 1,300

Mar 2016

229,000 193,000 -20,000 30,000 -22,000 4,200 38,100 16,500 -1,700

Apr 2016

187,000 181,000 -13,000 21,000 4,000 5,200 3,600 15,400 100

May 2016

42,000 31,000 -12,000 -10,000 -17,000 -1,300 -500 16,900 -1,000

Jun 2016

267,000 280,000 -10,000 11,000 19,000 -3,600 30,500 3,500 1,400

Jul 2016

354,000 253,000 -4,000 34,000 18,000 1,400 15,600 23,900 600

Aug 2016

135,000 152,000 -5,000 1,000 -21,000 3,400 17,400 28,000 -300

Sep 2016

269,000 234,000 0 31,000 -1,000 11,900 8,800 -5,500 500

Oct 2016

145,000 156,000 -3,000 30,000 0 900 2,400 15,900 0

Nov 2016

151,000 153,000 3,000 21,000 -5,000 2,400 -25,500 18,000 400

Dec 2016

230,000 212,000 1,000 2,000 14,000 -3,400 30,100 39,400 400

Jan 2017

185,000 191,000 1,000 26,000 13,000 5,600 28,000 -25,800 -600

Feb 2017

188,000 171,000 6,000 42,000 15,000 1,700 -40,000 23,700 -800

Mar 2017

129,000 123,000 5,000 20,000 11,000 2,900 -18,200 13,000 -300

Apr 2017

197,000 192,000 9,000 7,000 5,000 4,600 -8,100 16,000 -300

May 2017

155,000 153,000 4,000 12,000 6,000 -4,900 -29,300 22,600 -1,000

Jun 2017

216,000 202,000 4,000 27,000 12,000 7,100 6,600 12,900 600

Jul 2017

215,000 202,000 2,000 5,000 -1,000 900 -8,300 9,700 -600

Aug 2017

184,000 186,000 5,000 30,000 44,000 -800 -200 17,400 200

Sep 2017

18,000 9,000 3,000 14,000 9,000 2,800 -7,700 29,700 700

Oct 2017

267,000 264,000 0 23,000 22,000 4,700 -4,300 24,300 -100

Nov 2017

225,000 201,000 6,000 39,000 22,000 100 5,200 9,200 -100

Dec 2017

130,000 142,000 -1,000 27,000 27,000 5,800 -13,900 24,200 300

Jan 2018

121,000 147,000 7,000 21,000 17,000 -5,000 -16,700 5,400 -1,600

Feb 2018

406,000 355,000 7,000 86,000 30,000 1,400 35,500 37,700 2,400

Mar 2018

176,000 178,000 8,000 5,000 23,000 12,500 12,000 29,200 -600

Apr 2018

137,000 127,000 8,000 18,000 21,000 -19,300 -900 14,400 1,700

May 2018

278,000 261,000 2,000 43,000 26,000 2,700 4,300 23,300 -2,200

Jun 2018

219,000 191,000 5,000 16,000 29,000 6,600 -38,900 20,800 -1,000

Jul 2018

136,000 133,000 0 22,000 19,000 11,700 -12,100 12,500 -3,600

Aug 2018

244,000 216,000 8,000 31,000 13,000 19,200 2,700 36,600 500

Sep 2018

80,000 81,000 2,000 20,000 21,000 -2,600 -46,500 28,600 100

Oct 2018

201,000 205,000 3,000 23,000 24,000 2,900 -39,100 32,500 900

Nov 2018

134,000 133,000 -5,000 -2,000 20,000 7,100 27,100 23,500 0

Dec 2018

182,000 173,000 4,000 26,000 21,000 8,400 -25,200 -7,700 -600

Jan 2019

269,000 258,000 5,000 50,000 20,000 6,300 -7,900 46,800 100

Feb 2019

1,000 -6,000 -5,000 -29,000 5,000 5,800 -29,300 1,600 -1,500

Mar 2019

147,000 132,000 0 20,000 -3,000 -4,400 -24,300 5,700 500

Apr 2019

210,000 185,000 0 26,000 2,000 13,400 -11,800 7,000 -2,600

May 2019

85,000 87,000 2,000 9,000 0 4,000 -12,300 3,000 1,000

Jun 2019

182,000 180,000 -2,000 19,000 9,000 1,200 -5,400 21,100 1,500

Jul 2019

194,000 160,000 -5,000 7,000 7,000 7,300 1,000 -500 -900

Aug 2019

207,000 157,000 -5,000 4,000 3,000 600 -600 -4,100 -700

Sep 2019

208,000 195,000 0 16,000 3,000 6,400 9,000 10,500 -1,400

Oct 2019

185,000 190,000 4,000 17,000 -41,000 10,100 21,900 6,800 -1,300

Nov 2019

261,000 247,000 -11,000 -2,000 58,000 3,000 -13,900 22,600 1,000

Dec 2019

184,000 164,000 -9,000 16,000 -2,000 6,900 41,400 -2,100 700

Jan 2020

214,000 179,000 -3,000 38,000 -22,000 4,300 -3,200 22,600 -1,000

Feb 2020

275,000 242,000 3,000 41,000 13,000 -1,900 1,200 -1,200 200

Mar 2020

-701,000 -713,000 -7,000 -29,000 -18,000 900 -46,200 -4,900 800
 Monthly employment level changes by industry, seasonally adjusted (continued)
Month Information Financial activities Professional and business services Education and health services Leisure and hospitality Other services Government Federal government

Mar 2015

-5,000 9,000 26,000 43,000 9,000 2,000 -8,000 1,000

Apr 2015

4,000 7,000 44,000 74,000 42,000 7,000 35,000 15,000

May 2015

8,000 7,000 81,000 52,000 80,000 9,000 7,000 -10,000

Jun 2015

1,000 22,000 51,000 40,000 5,000 -6,000 3,000 1,000

Jul 2015

3,000 20,000 37,000 55,000 60,000 12,000 35,000 2,000

Aug 2015

1,000 6,000 29,000 41,000 33,000 -9,000 10,000 4,000

Sep 2015

10,000 10,000 23,000 37,000 78,000 1,000 -20,000 -1,000

Oct 2015

-1,000 15,000 73,000 84,000 37,000 9,000 16,000 0

Nov 2015

-13,000 12,000 34,000 45,000 58,000 8,000 25,000 7,000

Dec 2015

9,000 8,000 70,000 63,000 32,000 15,000 16,000 10,000

Jan 2016

4,000 15,000 -2,000 14,000 35,000 -4,000 21,000 -4,000

Feb 2016

15,000 8,000 15,000 68,000 56,000 17,000 26,000 6,000

Mar 2016

7,000 15,000 30,000 47,000 41,000 8,000 36,000 5,000

Apr 2016

4,000 23,000 32,000 58,000 23,000 4,000 6,000 2,000

May 2016

-36,000 14,000 8,000 57,000 21,000 -8,000 11,000 7,000

Jun 2016

45,000 17,000 43,000 57,000 55,000 11,000 -13,000 5,000

Jul 2016

1,000 22,000 44,000 44,000 47,000 6,000 101,000 2,000

Aug 2016

6,000 15,000 6,000 46,000 40,000 15,000 -17,000 4,000

Sep 2016

7,000 8,000 67,000 59,000 37,000 11,000 35,000 4,000

Oct 2016

2,000 6,000 18,000 61,000 18,000 5,000 -11,000 -3,000

Nov 2016

-5,000 11,000 37,000 34,000 50,000 11,000 -2,000 -5,000

Dec 2016

3,000 27,000 35,000 61,000 17,000 -14,000 18,000 18,000

Jan 2017

7,000 30,000 50,000 9,000 32,000 16,000 -6,000 -2,000

Feb 2017

-5,000 2,000 9,000 74,000 32,000 11,000 17,000 -2,000

Mar 2017

-1,000 8,000 29,000 39,000 12,000 3,000 6,000 -2,000

Apr 2017

-4,000 15,000 30,000 50,000 64,000 3,000 5,000 -11,000

May 2017

-5,000 8,000 57,000 38,000 35,000 11,000 2,000 8,000

Jun 2017

3,000 16,000 35,000 28,000 42,000 8,000 14,000 -2,000

Jul 2017

2,000 12,000 42,000 60,000 71,000 7,000 13,000 -1,000

Aug 2017

6,000 9,000 28,000 37,000 4,000 6,000 -2,000 -3,000

Sep 2017

-4,000 8,000 3,000 31,000 -73,000 -7,000 9,000 0

Oct 2017

1,000 5,000 48,000 27,000 91,000 22,000 3,000 1,000

Nov 2017

1,000 12,000 30,000 52,000 14,000 11,000 24,000 -11,000

Dec 2017

6,000 4,000 34,000 9,000 20,000 0 -12,000 2,000

Jan 2018

-4,000 6,000 55,000 54,000 3,000 5,000 -26,000 7,000

Feb 2018

0 29,000 43,000 54,000 25,000 4,000 51,000 -8,000

Mar 2018

11,000 5,000 42,000 32,000 2,000 -3,000 -2,000 0

Apr 2018

13,000 7,000 45,000 15,000 -3,000 7,000 10,000 2,000

May 2018

-2,000 22,000 46,000 38,000 46,000 12,000 17,000 -3,000

Jun 2018

0 19,000 34,000 41,000 47,000 13,000 28,000 4,000

Jul 2018

4,000 8,000 20,000 27,000 39,000 -15,000 3,000 2,000

Aug 2018

0 13,000 41,000 47,000 1,000 3,000 28,000 3,000

Sep 2018

-2,000 22,000 33,000 25,000 -24,000 5,000 -1,000 3,000

Oct 2018

12,000 18,000 37,000 51,000 32,000 8,000 -4,000 1,000

Nov 2018

-1,000 10,000 23,000 23,000 10,000 -3,000 1,000 6,000

Dec 2018

4,000 8,000 26,000 54,000 47,000 8,000 9,000 -2,000

Jan 2019

-11,000 11,000 -2,000 56,000 81,000 3,000 11,000 2,000

Feb 2019

-2,000 14,000 38,000 18,000 -23,000 1,000 7,000 3,000

Mar 2019

10,000 17,000 12,000 63,000 21,000 15,000 15,000 1,000

Apr 2019

-6,000 14,000 50,000 65,000 13,000 15,000 25,000 8,000

May 2019

8,000 6,000 27,000 30,000 12,000 -3,000 -2,000 3,000

Jun 2019

12,000 5,000 41,000 55,000 7,000 15,000 2,000 3,000

Jul 2019

-3,000 21,000 43,000 73,000 2,000 9,000 34,000 2,000

Aug 2019

-1,000 15,000 40,000 58,000 42,000 5,000 50,000 26,000

Sep 2019

5,000 3,000 25,000 61,000 61,000 -3,000 13,000 0

Oct 2019

-1,000 21,000 42,000 40,000 70,000 0 -5,000 -13,000

Nov 2019

9,000 12,000 37,000 73,000 43,000 16,000 14,000 6,000

Dec 2019

9,000 10,000 22,000 29,000 40,000 2,000 20,000 -3,000

Jan 2020

11,000 9,000 20,000 69,000 24,000 10,000 35,000 8,000

Feb 2020

3,000 31,000 36,000 65,000 44,000 8,000 33,000 8,000

Mar 2020

2,000 -1,000 -52,000 -76,000 -459,000 -24,000 12,000 18,000
Monthly employment level changes by industry, seasonally adjusted
Month State government Local government

Mar 2015

-4,000 -5,000

Apr 2015

3,000 17,000

May 2015

4,000 13,000

Jun 2015

-1,000 3,000

Jul 2015

0 33,000

Aug 2015

4,000 2,000

Sep 2015

6,000 -25,000

Oct 2015

1,000 15,000

Nov 2015

6,000 12,000

Dec 2015

-2,000 8,000

Jan 2016

1,000 24,000

Feb 2016

-3,000 23,000

Mar 2016

7,000 24,000

Apr 2016

5,000 -1,000

May 2016

-5,000 9,000

Jun 2016

14,000 -32,000

Jul 2016

9,000 90,000

Aug 2016

-3,000 -18,000

Sep 2016

34,000 -3,000

Oct 2016

-13,000 5,000

Nov 2016

5,000 -2,000

Dec 2016

2,000 -2,000

Jan 2017

10,000 -14,000

Feb 2017

9,000 10,000

Mar 2017

3,000 5,000

Apr 2017

3,000 13,000

May 2017

8,000 -14,000

Jun 2017

-4,000 20,000

Jul 2017

3,000 11,000

Aug 2017

-6,000 7,000

Sep 2017

-7,000 16,000

Oct 2017

-5,000 7,000

Nov 2017

16,000 19,000

Dec 2017

-12,000 -2,000

Jan 2018

-12,000 -21,000

Feb 2018

4,000 55,000

Mar 2018

3,000 -5,000

Apr 2018

13,000 -5,000

May 2018

7,000 13,000

Jun 2018

6,000 18,000

Jul 2018

-2,000 3,000

Aug 2018

5,000 20,000

Sep 2018

10,000 -14,000

Oct 2018

-9,000 4,000

Nov 2018

-11,000 6,000

Dec 2018

0 11,000

Jan 2019

-3,000 12,000

Feb 2019

5,000 -1,000

Mar 2019

0 14,000

Apr 2019

-6,000 23,000

May 2019

-11,000 6,000

Jun 2019

-1,000 0

Jul 2019

11,000 21,000

Aug 2019

16,000 8,000

Sep 2019

-3,000 16,000

Oct 2019

3,000 5,000

Nov 2019

-3,000 11,000

Dec 2019

3,000 20,000

Jan 2020

6,000 21,000

Feb 2020

8,000 17,000

Mar 2020

-14,000 8,000

In March, employment in leisure and hospitality fell by 459,000. Most of the decline occurred in food services and drinking places (−417,000); this employment decline nearly offset gains over the previous 2 years. Employment in the accommodation industry also declined in March (−29,000).

Employment in health care and social assistance fell by 61,000 in March. Health care employment declined by 43,000, with job losses in offices of dentists (−17,000), offices of physicians (−12,000), and offices of other health care practitioners (−7,000). Over the prior 12 months, health care employment had grown by 374,000. In March, social assistance saw an employment decline of 19,000, reflecting a job loss in child day care services (−19,000). Over the prior 12 months, social assistance added 193,000 jobs.

These data are from the Current Employment Statistics program. Data for the most recent 2 months are preliminary. Note that the March survey reference period predated many coronavirus-related business and school closures that occurred in the second half of the month. See these questions and answers for more information on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on The Employment Situation. To learn more, see "The Employment Situation — March 2020." Also see more charts showing nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings data.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Nonfarm payroll employment down 701,000 in March 2020 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2020/nonfarm-payroll-employment-down-701000-in-march-2020.htm (visited May 28, 2020).

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