Unemployment Quickly Recovering

Posted: Jun 05, 2020 12:59 PM
Unemployment Quickly Recovering

Source: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File

It is a big day for the nation as we brace for the latest on the jobs front from the Labor Department.  What I’m looking for beyond the headlines is more clarity on the level of actual job losses versus temporary layoffs.  In April, most of those reporting to be out of work felt it was only temporary as many businesses choose furloughs to firings.

The wildcard is eight million people that are not working were classified as “other,” which historically averaged 620,000.  If all were fired, 28 million people would have lost jobs and U4 unemployment rate would been 19.5%. There is hope today’s report is like ADP, which came in six million under consensus estimate.  

  • Job losers 20.6 million
  • Job layoffs 18.1 million

To see the chart, click here.

Rotation Continues

Investors rotation continued out of safe havens and rate-sensitive sectors such as Real Estate and Utilities yesterday, as Treasury yields continue to increase. Selling in FAANG took the broader market with it.  Financials and Industrials led the way and travel related stocks were among the winners, as investors continue to seek value in names that have been beaten down.

S&P 500 Index



Communication ServicesXLC



Consumer DiscretionaryXLY



Consumer StaplesXLP









Health CareXLV









Real EstateXLRE









Portfolio Approach

We are adding a new position in Industrials and lowering Cash to 10%.

Today's Session

WOW.  What a reversal.  In May, 2.5 million nonfarm payroll job were added, and the unemployment rate fell to 13.3% from 14.7%. March was revised down by 492,000 from -881,000 to -1.4 million, and April was revised down by 150,000 from -20.5 million to -20.7 million, combined losses were 642,000 higher than previously reported.

Jobs in leisure and hospitality, construction, education and health services, and retail trade rose sharply as economic activity picked back up in May. Government jobs continued to decline. The labor Department stated, “These improvements in the labor market reflected a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it.” 

Private Nonfarm Payroll

  • Average hourly earnings fell $0.29 to $29.75
  • Average workweek increased by 0.5 hours to 34.7

The real story remains in the number of people that have lost their jobs temporarily.


May 2020 (in thousands)

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs


On temporary layoff


Not on temporary layoff


Permanent job losers


Persons who completed temporary jobs


Job leavers


The market loves the report and future are soaring.