Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Job losses over the past month have likely been worse than even some of the more extreme economic estimates, and are expected to get worse.

Driving the news: Led by small businesses, U.S. companies cut payrolls by 27,000 in early March, ADP's latest private payrolls report showed Wednesday, in a surge of cuts that predated many municipalities' mandated business closures.

Zoom in: The ADP headline number significantly underplays the level of carnage in labor markets, as service-related industries saw losses of just 18,000 during the month.

  • Most of the decline came from sectors not associated with restaurants or leisure and hospitality, with the biggest losses coming from trade, transportation and utilities (-37,000), followed by construction (-16,000) and administrative and support services (-12,000).
  • Small businesses saw 90,000 job losses during the period ending March 12, and 66,000 of those came from companies that employ 25 people or less. 

What they're saying: Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, notes that just 6% of companies indicated they are hiring, a level worse than during the financial crisis and comparable to about 40% during a typical month.

  • He expects total job losses will total 10 million to 15 million, a number that is beginning to look positively quaint by comparison.

Goldman Sachs predicts unemployment will peak at around 15%, with a little more than 20 million unemployed.

  • Economists at the St. Louis Fed project about 47 million people will lose their jobs, which would translate to a 32.1% unemployment rate.

Go deeper: An unsettling future for millions of American jobs

Go deeper

21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's China plan: Bring allies

Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden is planning to confront China across the globe, embracing some of President Trump's goals but rejecting his means.

The big picture: By starting a trade war with China, Trump has fundamentally altered the U.S.- China relationship — and forced both Republicans and Democrats to accept a more confrontational approach towards Beijing.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests
  2. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases
  3. Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

In pictures: Storm Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

Debris on the streets as then-Hurricane Zeta passes over in Arabi, Louisiana, on Oct. 28. It's the third hurricane to hit Louisiana in about two months, after Laura and Delta. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people, triggered flooding, downed powerlines and caused widespread outages since making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday.

The big picture: A record 11 named storms have made landfall in the U.S. this year. Zeta is the fifth named storm to do so in Louisiana in 2020, the most ever recorded. It weakened t0 a tropical storm early Thursday, as it continued to lash parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and strong winds.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!