The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor is the principal Federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy.
Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that
the data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
William W. Beach
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Friday, May 8, 2020
(NOTE: On May 11, 2020, BLS corrected errors in national estimates
for seasonally adjusted all employees in professional and
technical services, professional and business services, private
service-providing, service-providing, total private, and total
nonfarm. The corrected change in total nonfarm employment for
April is 37,000 lower than initially reported. Estimates in the
LABSTAT database and in this statement were corrected for
February, March, and April 2020. BLS also corrected other
supporting documentation on www.bls.gov/ces/.)
Nonfarm payroll employment declined by 20.5 million in
April, and the unemployment rate increased to 14.7 percent,
reflecting the widespread impact on the job market of the
coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it.
Employment fell sharply in all major industry sectors, with a
particularly large decline in the leisure and hospitality
The response rate for the household survey continued to be
adversely affected by pandemic-related issues, while that for
the establishment survey returned to a normal range in April.
In addition, there were changes to the estimation methods for
the establishment survey to better account for the historic
number of temporary or permanent business closures in April. The
impacts of the pandemic on the household and payroll surveys are
detailed in the April Employment Situation news release and
accompanying materials (available on the BLS website at
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm). For both
surveys, we were able to obtain estimates that met BLS standards
for accuracy and reliability.
The substantial job declines related to the coronavirus
pandemic started in March, as payroll employme