VCU-Ariz. State survey finds 1 in 4 unemployed
U.S. employment declining, but at slower pace, survey finds
Roughly one in four U.S. workers employed in February were unemployed by the end of April, according to a biweekly survey conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University and Arizona State University economists. Employment is declining, but it’s doing so at a slower pace, the survey found.
The survey, which covers the week of April 26 through May 2, indicates that the unemployment rate rose to 23.6%, while the labor force participation rate remained fairly flat. And 44% of people who were employed in February have reported a loss in earnings.
“This suggests that we are past the worst period of job losses, at least for the time being,” said Adam Blandin, the VCU School of Business assistant professor who conducted the survey with Alexander Bick, an associate economics professor at Arizona State. “However, the damage that has been done is unprecedented. Our estimates imply that, at the end of April, roughly one in four people who were working in February are no longer working.”
The most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics labor market figures that relate to the week of April 12 suggest that unemployment rose to 14.7%. Those figures, however are “already three weeks out of date,” Blandin said in a statement, adding that the next round of government estimates won’t be published until June 5. “In the meantime, some states will begin to reopen their economy, while others will remain largely closed. The time lag of government data means that it will not be able to shed light on the effects of these policies for four crucial weeks.”
This is the third Real Time Population Survey that Blandin and Bick have conducted.
The next round of survey results will be released on May 22, covering the period from May 10 through May 16.