We are about to learn more about how devastating the pandemic has been to American workers.
Even by the standards of the coronavirus pandemic, Friday’s report on employment in the United States will be staggering.
It will also be much more illuminating than the data that has been released so far, offering details on who has lost their job and who has not. Those details could reveal how quickly the economy could recover once the pandemic-related closings are lifted.
Undoubtedly, the monthly report will show that job losses in April were the worst: Economists expect the unemployment rate to reach 16 percent, the worst since the Great Depression, with up to 22 million jobs lost.
Not surprisingly, employers have cut millions of jobs; Weekly data on claims for unemployment benefits have followed the destruction. Those reports have consistently shown that millions of workers have been seeking unemployment benefits every week since March, as companies temporarily close their doors due to orders to stay home, or closed forever as the economy grinds to a halt.
But the monthly numbers coming out on Friday are much more comprehensive than the weekly release, as they are based on information gathered from both homes and businesses.
They will break down employment by race and gender, important details that will show who is suffering the brunt of the economic devastation caused by the pandemic.
The report also includes data on work hours, which will show how many people held on to their jobs but had their hours reduced, and will also provide the most detailed breakdown of job losses by industry, which could help assess how far point the damage has spread.
The March jobs report showed big losses in restaurants, hotels and other industries most affected by the first wave of closings. The April report will also show losses in retail, a sector that has been hit by a wave of closings and bankruptcies.
But if the losses have spread to other industries like finance and professional services, it could point to cascading damage and a longer recovery.
Monthly numbers also distinguish between people who have lost their jobs permanently and those who are on layoff or temporary leave. The higher the proportion of workers in the second category, the faster the recovery could be.
World markets rose sharply in early Friday trading, rebounding from Wall Street’s strong performance the day before and positive comments from US and Chinese officials on trade.
European markets opened higher after a largely positive day in Asia. Futures markets forecast further increases when Wall Street opens later in the day.
Investors were encouraged by the prospects of countries reopening their economies further, despite concerns that such efforts could lead to an increase in infections. They were bolstered by announcements from the United States and China that appeared to support their Phase 1 trade deal, which would lead to their two-year trade war to a temporary truce. The White House openly questioned China’s commitment to the deal in recent days, hurting actions.
Optimism was widespread. US Treasury bond prices. The US, which generally increases in tough times, fell earlier on Friday. Oil prices also rose.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index rose 2.6 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 1.1 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China ended 0.8 percent higher. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.9 percent.
In Germany, the DAX index rose 1.1 percent in early trading. France’s CAC 40 rose 0.6 percent. The shop in London was closed for holidays.
China and the United States announced on Friday that they had held high-level trade talks. Despite Washington’s increasingly harsh rhetoric about trade, senior trade officials from both countries seemed to reaffirm the Phase 1 trade deal they reached in January, which sparked a truce in their nearly two-year trade war.
“Both sides agreed that good progress is being made in creating the necessary government infrastructure to make the deal a success,” said the Office of the United States Trade Representative. “They also agreed that, despite the current global health emergency, both countries hope to meet their obligations under the agreement in a timely manner.”
President Trump had rocked financial markets on Wednesday promising to review by the end of next week whether China had met its obligations under the deal to increase purchases of American goods.
China has been importing more American food since the pact was signed. But global imports of American goods from China have fallen short of the administration’s initial hopes because the coronavirus pandemic has affected Chinese consumers’ spending and investment.
The deal itself set import targets for two years, however, no quarterly targets along the way. The statement from the commercial representation office on Friday morning was less conflicting with China than other recent statements by the administration.
Deputy Prime Minister Liu He of China spoke on a conference call with Robert Lighthizer, the trade representative, and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, both countries said.
“The two sides declared that they should strengthen macroeconomic and public health cooperation, strive to create a favorable atmosphere and conditions for the implementation of the first phase of the Sino-US economic and trade agreement, and promote positive results,” said the Ministry of China trade. he said in a statement.
Asian stocks rose on Friday morning after the two countries made their announcements.
China’s small businesses are still struggling as global demand plummets.
Li Mingqin’s factory in central China manufactures products for happy times, using feathers from chickens and other poultry to produce costume masks and badminton shuttlecocks. But with the pandemic, new orders have stopped, and she, like many other small business owners, wonders how she will survive.
It has more than 100 employees whom it has not paid in a month, and whom it promises to pay in June. She has hundreds of thousands of dollars in pens and other supplies stacked in a warehouse.
While China has almost completely eliminated local transmission of the coronavirus, its financial regulators are trying to help the country’s small businesses weather the current global collapse in consumer demand. Commercial banks are now free to lend to small businesses some of the money they previously had to park at the central bank. Regulators call bank CEOs daily to tell them to renew small business loans.
Borrowers who miss bank loan payments are not being penalized on their credit histories if they can get the money later. Companies that agree not to fire employees are eligible for additional loans.
But taking advantage of all that credit requires having a bank relationship. Banks deal primarily with state-owned companies and some of the largest private companies. Companies like Ms. Li, the Gelan Crafts Factory in Anhui Province, have struggled to get bank loans and rely mainly on loans from friends and family, and many of them face their own financial difficulties now.
Ms. Li fired her babysitter and started cooking for herself.
“My husband and I are under great pressure and often cannot sleep through the night” concerned about the factory, he said. “I don’t know the future, I’m so confused I don’t know how long it can last.”
A clash between Amazon and French unions over security measures for the coronavirus became more tense on Thursday when the company said it would ask France’s highest court to overturn a decision by the appeals court last week that ordered the E-commerce giant to stop delivering non-essential items in France during the pandemic to protect workers.
Amazon will also seek approval on Friday from workers’ councils, which represent about 10,000 employees, to keep its six huge French warehouses closed until May 13, as it consults with them on steps to further improve safety measures. against the virus.
“We are working hard to resume normal business activities for our French customers, our French employees and our French sellers,” Amazon said in a statement.
Amazon warehouses in France have been closed for nearly a month after a court aligned in mid-April with French unions that had sued the company, accusing it of inadequately protecting workers from the threat of the virus and failing to consult with unions on measures. , as required by law. The court ruled that Amazon must restrict deliveries to only food, hygiene and medical products until it addresses the problem, or faces millions of euros in potential fines.
Rather than risk the fine, Amazon put its workforce on paid leave, but continues to deliver items to France from its centers in Belgium, Germany, and Spain. The company lashed out at the unions for filing the lawsuit, which was upheld by the Versailles Court of Appeals last week. Amazon insists that it has maintained rigorous health security at its French sites and has accused unions of seeking to promote their own interests amid the health crisis.
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J.C. Penney and Sephora, who had been arguing in court over a possible closure of Sephora mini-stores within hundreds of J.C. locations. Penney said Thursday that he had “reaffirmed his long-standing partnership.” J.C. Penny had filed a lawsuit Monday describing disagreements between the companies, which have been partners since 2006, highlighting the challenges that many retailers may face with sellers when trying to return to business during the pandemic.
Frontier Airlines It became the first U.S. airline to announce plans to take passenger temperatures before boarding, a move that would take effect June 1. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or more will be denied boarding.
The Walt Disney Company He said the 120-acre Disney Springs, one of the largest shopping centers in the United States, would begin a gradual reopening on May 20. The lakeside property in suburban Orlando, Florida has around 170 shops and restaurants. Disney theme parks and hotels will be closed. Disney said reopening Disney Springs would involve face masks for employees and guests and capacity limitations.
The reports and investigations were contributed by Niraj Chokshi, Sapna Maheshwari, Ben Casselman, Keith Bradsher, Liu Yi, Mohammed Hadi, Brooks Barnes, Liz Alderman, Carlos Tejada and Daniel Victor.