Widespread Job Losses Across the Country in March


Year-over-year (YoY), total nonfarm employment increased by 1.5 million jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis (SA), or 1.0% from March 2019 to March 2020. During this time, total nonfarm employment in the Western region increased by 1.2%. The South and the Northeast recorded gains at 1.0% and 0.2% respectively, during this time. Midwest recorded a decline of 0.2% for this period. It is important to note that this data only partially reflects the 22 million employees who were laid off or furloughed due to the spread of the Coronavirus over the past four weeks.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payroll employment increased in three states and decreased in 47 states and the District of Columbia, in March  compared to the previous month. Tennessee added 2,300 jobs, which was the largest gain of any state. The largest decline came from California, which lost 99,500 jobs during this time. Nationwide, total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 701,000 over the month of March, following a revised increase of 275,000 jobs in February.

Year-over-year, ending in March, 33 states and the District of Columbia increased in employment. Seventeen states reported declines in payroll employment. Texas added 250,900 workers while the smallest gain came from New Hampshire which added 700 workers during this time. In percentage terms, 13 states recorded annualized growth rates equal to and/or above 1.0% in employment, which was the national growth rate. Utah recorded the highest growth rate at 2.6%.

In the construction sector specifically, which includes both residential and non-residential construction, across the 48 states which reported construction sector jobs data, 24 states had an increase in March, while 19 states reported a decline compared to January. Five states were unchanged. Overall, the construction industry lost 29,000 jobs in March compared to the previous month. Washington added 2,500 jobs, the highest gains in construction employees while California lost 11,600 workers during this time.

Year-over-year, the U.S added 162,000 construction sector jobs which is a 2.2% increase compared to March 2019. Texas added 26,100 jobs, which was the largest gains of any state while Louisiana lost 7,800 jobs, which was the largest decline of any state. In percentage terms, New Mexico had the highest annual growth rate in construction sector by 11.0%. Over this period, West Virginia reported the largest decline at 10.5%.


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