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First Cut: ADP National Employment Report confirms expectations of massive job losses in April

The ADP National Employment Report for April confirmed expectations for massive job losses. The ADP data put private payrolls down 20.236 million in the month after a downward revision to a decline of 149,000 in March (previously -27,000). The scale of the plunge in payrolls has no meaningful comparison other than to reflect the severity of the impact by measures to keep the COVID-19 pandemic in check.

The median expectation in a market survey was pretty much spot-on for the data. Given that it appears closely aligned with anticipation of the change in private payrolls in the Employment Situation for April at 8:30 ET on Friday, estimates for the government data are not going to be revised.

Unsurprisingly, nearly 80% of the declines were concentrated in the service sector with a drop of 16.007 million while goods producers were down 4.229 million. Among service providers, payrolls were down 8.607 million for leisure and hospitality, or about half the total. Among goods-producers, construction lost 2.477 million jobs as projects shutdown either due to lack of workers and/or materials that put activity on hiatus, or in outright cancellations of building with the homebuying in a tailspin.

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