Seattle Press
Community Log & News Digest
Comments on items posted in the Editor's Log are welcome in the Forum and via the Comment link following each article (members only). Selected items by participating bloggers are also posted to the Community Log as indicated by the by-line beneath the respective articles. Arts reviews and commentaries may include opinions by the writers that are not necessarily shared by the editors or publishers.
State unemployment rate falls; payrolls inch forward
OLYMPIA – Washington’s economy added 1,000 jobs in October and the state’s preliminary seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for October decreased from 8.3 percent (adjusted) to 6.0 percent according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).

“The preliminary read on October payroll employment shows a very small increase once more,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Upward revisions to the data in recent months show a stronger recovery, but renewed restrictions on business operations in response to mounting virus risk put the recovery in jeopardy.”

ESD released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report.

The department also announced that September’s previously reported unemployment rate of 8.4 percent was revised slightly downward to 8.3 percent. September’s preliminary estimated gain of 2,400 jobs was revised to a gain of 23,800 jobs.

The national unemployment rate decreased from 7.9 percent in September to 6.9 percent in October 2020. In October 2019, the national unemployment rate (revised) was 3.6 percent.

ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 453,798 people in October, a decrease of 99,489 over the previous month.

State labor force participation increases

The state’s labor force in October was 3,989,000– an increase of 60,700 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force decreased by 12,900 over the same period.

From October 2019 through October 2020, the state’s labor force increased by 42,600 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region decreased by 40,700.

The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.

From September 2020 to October 2020, the number of people who were unemployed statewide decreased from 326,000 to 238,600. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the number of people who were unemployed decreased from 117,900 to 82,000 over the same period.

Seven industry sectors expanded, five sectors contracted and one was unchanged in October

Private sector employment increased by 14,100 jobs while government employment decreased by 13,100 jobs. Provided below is a summary of the job gains and losses in all thirteen industry sectors.
We're winning, we're winning! Trump Covid Response Still Lags
US Covid-19 Rankings: Cases #1; Deaths #1; Fatality #78; Deaths/capita #12. What do these numbers mean?

Cases: WE'RE NUMBER 1, WE'RE NUMBER 1!. We are a big country. Only China and India have more people. But we have more cases than both, and both are over three times larger. Raw tallies don't tell us much.

Deaths: Size is not the answer here either. We are again #1. Our death rates per capita are eight times India's and 214 times China's. (Even if China lies about its statistics by tenfold the ratio is 140:1; no bragging rights here.)

Fatality: Here we do a little better, but we're in 78th place; scores of countries are doing better. Our world class hospitals are saving lots of lives, but the pace of infection overwhelmed the Mid-Atlantic states in April and the same is happening now across the country, notably in states that resisted so-called "lockdown" measures.

Cases/capita: Only Belgium leads the US.

Deaths/capita: Belgium, Peru, Spain, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Mexico and the United Kingdom, in that order, have more deaths per capita. If we had our own house in order, we could help our sister republics. That would, of course, give the lie to the Administration's constant denigration of the other peoples of the hemisphere.

The clear lesson in all this is that we have been well served by our medical establishment but poorly served by our so-called system of public health, a federal-state complex that has been essentially starved by the Trump administration intellectually, financially and organizationally. The poor showing is a result of lack of concern and understanding, coupled with incompetence, and history will not be kind. (I've tried to limit the preaching to this one paragraph. 'Tain't easy. I'd have preached only to the choir, but too many are dead.)

Note: I have not compiled statistics for countries with outcomes better than the US on at least one measure or for countries with less than 10,000,000 inhabitants.

Data & statistics spreadsheet

Trump's Covid-19 Task Force Should Resign
The election may be over, but the pandemic is not, especially in the USA. It's likely we'll continue "winning" well into 2021. During the past week we have experienced over 100,000 cases five times, and a death rate of 1,000 cases per day seems to be baked into the cake.

The nationalists among us may note that India is overtaking the US in the absolute number of cases, but they should also note that they have four times our population and a fraction of our medical capability (not as a matter of talent, just as a function of wealth). Japan, on the other hand, with 38 percent of our population has just 108,151 cases and five deaths, respectively one percent as many cases and 0.0002 percent as many deaths. This is incontrovertibly a difference of policy; it is the same disease.

Continuing our current policies for another 73 days is an foolish, even insane, approach. We can project an additional death toll of 70,000 at least, plus deaths among the newly infected, at today's reduced rate, of at least (100,00 per day X 73 days = 7.3MM * .0240 = ) 175,000, totaling 412,000 attributable to the current regime.

In a parliamentary system, the current adminstration would be gone this week, which if so—coupled with changes in public health measures—could save tens of thousands of lives.

The current task force should resign forthwith, recognizing that their approach has been fruitless. There is no excuse for retaining them solely because the Founders had to travel to the capital on horseback.

To extend the trans-Pacific comparison, if the task force members do not deign to resign, they might consider what might have been expected of them during Japan's samurai era.

(Graphic: Kaiser Family Foundation; https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/fact-sheet/coronavirus-tracker/)
State pays out $12 billion in unemployment benefits during Covid-19 crisis to da
OLYMPIA – During the week of October 25 - 31, there were 14,681 initial regular unemployment claims (up 3.4 percent from the prior week) and 465,563 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 2.1 percent from the prior week) filed by Washingtonians, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD). Since the crisis began in March, ESD has paid more than $12.1 billion in benefits to over a million Washingtonians.

Initial regular claims applications remain at elevated levels and are at 113 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims and continued claims for regular benefits all decreased over the week.
Slight increases in initial claims were primarily in industries where seasonal layoffs are expected this time of year, including agriculture and construction.

In the week ending October 31, ESD paid out over $143 million for 307,351 individual claims.
November 3 Bridge Recommendation: Zero, no Trump
Perhaps you're considering voting to re-elect Donald Trump because of his stellar perfornance in combatting Covid-19. You might want to consider the actual numbers, so you can be prepared for your excoriation at Thanksgiving dinner in 2022 (no one will be holding Thanksgiving dinner this year and possibly next.)

In fact, some number between 290,000 and 545,000 of our fellow citizens will die before Inauguration Day 2021. Your vote cannot change that. You can only change what happens thereafter. Please choose wisely. Here is some castor oil for what ails us.

It's not hard to understand the progress of the Covid-19 pandemic in the US or to anticipate the (lack of) results from federal efforts to control its spread. Consider the adjacent graph (click it for a larger view), which tracks deaths and projected deaths as the US responds to the nine million cases reported to date (which probably represent a somewhat larger real number). The horizontal axis is tiime since the reporting of the fifth death (left) until the present (right).

The blue line shows the number of deaths reported daily as a fourteen-day moving average. An early peak in April is followed by another in July and August, and we are now experiencing an even higher and rising death toll in October. If this looks like waves to you, you are correct, It appears we are now experiencing a third surge in deaths. Oh my, surely no one could have foreseen this!

Well, maybe.

Consider the red line. It shows the projection of deaths through Inauguration Day 2021, calculated as the seven-day moving average number of new cases daily since February, multiplied by the then-known death rate, which peaked at 7.2% in April. Thus it appeared on April 22 that over 640,000 persons would die. At that time, three months into the epidemic, public concern over what would come to be called a pandemic, was still rising slowly despite the deaths of over 30,000 residents of New York and New Jersey. The red line shows the projection based only on what is known at the time. Note that at this time it is again rising.

Throughout the winter and spring, the appointment of a presidential task force was accompanied by continued denials by the President and numerous subordinates that the disease was not serious and would "just go away." There were no serious attempts to impose health discipline on the general population. However, by April 22, the peak day of new cases in the first surge, over 45,000 Americans had died, and the case load exceed 825,000. Could it be that the US government, which had won WWII and put men on the moon, had gotten it wrong?

Happily for those screaming "hoax!" the number of new cases began to drop as the initial points of infection, coastal cities with large levels of international travel from Asia and Europe, began to impose health care policies like social distancing and masking. The nation heard the first cries of "we're winning" from the President and his supporters. Meanwhile the daily death toll fluctuated between 300 and 3,000, as those infected in the first wave continued dying. Inconsiderate of them.

The temporary decline after April occurred despite the inaction or floundering of the federal government.. Those states and cities with competent governments took action to acquire necessary resources. More importantly, the medical establishment shared information about what was and was not working in the care of infected persons who became sick or were hospitalized.

The green line and the purple line take account of the fact that some proportion of those already infected will die. The green line shows the estimate based on the average ratio of deaths:cases over the entire pandemic (since February); the purple line uses the ratio as of the then-current data. Because the "latent" deaths are included, a decline in new cases (which is not happening) has little effect on the number of deaths.

By contrast, in South Korea, which imposed strict requirements limiting public gatherings, social distancing and personal hygiene, the number of infections and deaths per capita is a tiny fraction of the US rates. In Singapore, which "quarantined" its people in the first weeks of the world pandemic, the infections and deaths are about one percent of the US rate.

Data source

Biden Announces Task Force to Reunite Separated Immigrant Children, Parents
El candidato demócrata y ex-vice-presidente Joe Biden ha anunciado que en el primer día de su presidencia, formará un grupo de trabajo ejecutivo para encontrar y reunir los padres y niños separado en la frontera de los EEUU y México. La dicha separación ya es en su tercer año para algunos de los estimados 545 niños cuyos padres no se han identificado, por causa de la incompetencia y falta de empatía de los funcionarios fronterizos, bajo la dirección de la administración actual. Tristemente, es probable que algunas reuniones nunca se realizarán, un resultado—en mi opinión—indiscutiblemente en las manos del Pres. Donald Trump.

Democratic candidate and former Vice-president Joe Biden has announced that on the first day of his presidency he will form a task force reporting to him to find and reunite the children and parents separated by the immigration policies of the US along the southern frontier. That separation is now in its third year for some of the affected children due to the incompetence and lack of empathy of frontier officials, all under the guidance of the present administration. Sadly it is likely that some reunions will never happen, a result that in my opinion is incontestably in the hands of Pres. Donald Trump.
Unemployment claims down October 18 - 24
OLYMPIA – During the week of October 18 - 24, there were 14,198 initial regular unemployment claims (down 15.9 percent from the prior week) and 475,441 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 3.2 percent from the prior week) filed by Washingtonians, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).

Initial regular claims applications remain at elevated levels and are at 128 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.

Initial regular initial claims, regular continued claims, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims all decreased over the week.

In the week ending October 24, ESD paid out over $145 million for 307,548 individual claims. Since the crisis began in March, ESD has paid more than $11.9 billion in benefits to over a million Washingtonians.
Employment grows modestly in September
OLYMPIA – Washington's economy added 2,400 jobs in September and the state’s preliminary seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for September decreased from 8.4 percent (adjusted) to 7.8 percent according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).

"Payroll growth slowed markedly in September," said Paul Turek, economist for the department. "A shift to remote learning apparently led to less government hiring than usual this time of year, which showed up largely in local education."

ESD released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report.
A personal safety hint
Put your car keys beside your bed at night.

Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your Dr's office, the check-out girl at the market, everyone you run across. Put your car keys beside your bed at night.

If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies.

This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: It's a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage.

If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won't stick around. After a few seconds, all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won't want that.
And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or a sexual abuse crime.

The technique would also be useful for many other emergencies, such as a heart attack, where you can't reach a phone. One reader has suggested to her husband that he carry his car keys with him in case he falls outside and she doesn't hear him. He can activate the car alarm and then she'll know there's a problem.

From a post circulating on Facebook.
More reasons to mask up for the foreseeable future
In case you still don't understand why you should mask up to save your neighbors, here's another take. Sorry, but there's no good way to shorten it.

For starters, we can decide to be forgiving to those who did not understand the numbers at the beginning. Logistical (S-shaped) phenomena are very hard to spot at the beginning, and only specialists are likely to notice them. (Call this Phase One.) If the potential problem goes against our personal goals, we are inclined to ignore or scoff at them. The number of new cases daily remained under 100 until March 3, and by that date only 14 people had died.*

As the growth and the growth rate both accelerate, the process becomes noticeable even to non-specialists. (Call this Phase Two.) The monthly death totals accelerated: End of March 3,170; April 60,966; May 103,781; June 126,140; July 152,070; August 183,069; September 206,007. On April 16, a staggering 4,928 deaths were reported, and supplementary reports indicate that Covid-19 was a contributing factor in hundreds more in which a pre-existing condition had weakened the patient.

At some point there is a recognition that action is needed. In the case of Covid-19, authorities began to see that intervention including personal isolation was a major key to slowing the spread of the disease. Still the numbers soared. This point was not reached until April or May in most parts of the US. (Call it Phase Three.) It is marked in the graph by the peak in April, after which preventive measures took hold in the urban areas that had been the epicenters in Phases One and Two.

As the number of cases and the number of medical providers gaining experience with therapy, the death rate from the disease (deaths/cases) has declined during Phase Three, but will probably never reach zero. Thus it is necessary to examine the "latent deaths" that will inexorably happen in the future. That current average rate is about 3.5 percent since the end of January; it is about 2.3% for the last month (Sep 10 - Oct 10). Using that last number gives projections in the range 420 to 483 thousand deaths by Inauguration Day and as many as 517,000 by the end of 2021. It is also possible (and experts say likely) that additional spread and its "latent deaths" will constitute a second wave that could equal or surpass the first.

This all clearly happened in the case of the current pandemic in early 2020. It was abetted by officeholders who covered their ears when the experts whispered. The decline in daily deaths after the spring due to improving therapy and social distancing measures let deniers claim the danger was past, ("we're winning, turning the corner, rounding the curve," etc.), while the virus just kept coming.

Today October 10, the 14-day average deaths stand at 681, suggesting an October toll of over 20,000 Americans. Although the impact of the pandemic is clear, some political leaders continue to attempt to "balance" health and economic concerns to the benefit of neither.

Line by line

In the adjacent graph (click it to expand), the blue line shows the projected Inauguration Day (ID) deaths as the number to date plus that day's deaths multiplied by the remaining days to ID. Phase One starts at left and continues to the April 24 peak. The Administration seems to like the blue line, which falsely indicates that the pandemic is receding. The graph continues predicting deaths ending with the data for October 10.

The green line replaces the current day with the 14-day moving average of deaths. The red line replaces the current day with the average of all daily deaths. Both show deaths continuing to rise beyond the period of the analysis (we could extend beyond January 20, but it would just make you worry or even vote for Biden).

A black "latent" line appears alongside the red, showing the effect of the "unsatisifed" deaths to be expected among persons currently infected, giving a similar result to the average daily and cumulative rates. No matter which way one slices, it smells bad.

The "true" expected deaths in the analysis for January 20 lie somewhere between 282,000 and 484,000. Your chances of Covid-19 are somewhere between one in 282,729 and one in 483,373. Feeling lucky? (1:282K is about ten times more likely than winning the Powerball lottery. Except that you don't want to win. It's so confusing!) :-)

*Data as reported by CDC to WHO; may not correspond at unit level to dates reported in US and even less to reports on popular news sources.
How many will die from Covid-19? It depends
Multiple projections can be drawn from the same data. The blue line in the upper graph shows the number that would have been projected if the 14-day moving average number of deaths on each day since the 5th case was reported were used to project deaths through January 20 (Inauguration Day), ending with about 264,000.

The other lines show the number if the deaths are projected using each day's ratio of deaths to cases (red) or the overall average ratio of deaths to cases (green). The latter projection is just under 478,000 deaths.

The blue line, of course, is the basis of the "we're winning, we're winning" claims of the Administration during the late spring after the April wave in major coastal cities.

These projections are for data published by the World Health Organization, drawn from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other more sophisticated projections show other numbers but are generally in the higher range. Why?

When one adds a line for the number of cases, it explains much of the discrepancy (red ellipses enclose same information). The known death rate is declining as we learn more about the disease, mainly due, one might argue, from more testing and heroic measures by the medical establishment, despite slow response by government actors. For those cases already known, a projection of almost inevitable deaths can be calculated, which one might call the "unsatisfied death rate." Sadly, this amounts to (478-211=) 267,000 more Americans as of Oct 8 who will not see the Inauguration, regardless of who wins.

In the absence of a vaccine and eventually a cure, a projection through the end of 2021, based again on the 14-day moving averages, suggests that about 526,000 of us will not celebrate New Years Day in 2022.

Headed out to the rally and then over to visit Grandma? You might want to rethink that.

Publishing and film rights available...
A literary scenario: The head of state of a large, heavily armed nation that dominates the world in military and commercial power is losing his grip on reality due to age and an undiagnosed disease. His advisors and sycophants close ranks to hide his disabilities from the public.

As his condition worsens he is often trundled off to various governmental or private estates, lodges and other venues, publicly "to rest" and privately to be treated for symptoms of the malady by practitioners sometimes accused of quackery. His family, sometimes suspected of scheming against him, swirls about performing their usual daily routines and when asked about his condition asserts that nothing is amiss.

At times he is incommunicado; at other, more lucid times he is presented as the spokesman of the nation, making public pronouncements on issues of the day under close watch of government officials lest he make false, misleading or outright dangerous statements that might lead to civil unrest or even to war.

No, not that head of state! I refer, of course, to the theme of "The Madness of King George III," by Alan Bennett, the book (1992), play and movie (1994). (Slight variations in title.) All parallel scenarios are purely coincidental.
Washington employment grows again in June as businesses gradually reopen
OLYMPIA - July 15 2020 – Washington’s economy added 71,000 jobs in June and the state’s preliminary seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for June decreased from 15.1 percent to 9.8 percent according to the Employment Security Department (ESD). This was the biggest month-to-month drop in the Washington unemployment rate (5.3%) in ESD records going back at least to 1990.

Total employment increased by 71,000, compared to an increase of 146,400 in May.

“The gain in nonfarm payroll employment coupled with the revision to May’s job gains are a welcome surprise and another step in the right direction,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “That said, the road ahead looks to be bumpy as the virus continues to spread, creating a less predictable situation for the economy reopening.”

ESD released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report.

The department also announced that May’s previously reported unemployment rate of 15.1 percent was confirmed. May’s preliminary estimated gain of 52,500 jobs was revised to a gain of 146,400 jobs.

The national unemployment rate decreased from 13.3 percent in May 2020 to 11.1 percent in June 2020. This is the first time in 70 months (since September 2014) that the Washington state unemployment rate is lower than the national rate. In June 2019, the national unemployment rate (revised) was 3.7 percent.

ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 565,800 people in June, a decrease of 149,742 over the previous month.

Labor force activity mostly a transfer of unemployed to employed

The state’s labor force in June was 3,951,000 – an increase of 5,500 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 75,200 over the same period.

From June 2019 through June 2020, the state’s labor force grew by 43,000 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region grew by 52,800.

The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.

From May 2020 to June 2020, the number of people who were unemployed statewide decreased from 593,900 to 388,400. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the number of people who were unemployed decreased from 246,600 to 165,400 over the same period.

Eleven industry sectors expanded, two sectors contracted in June

Private sector employment increased by 71,700 jobs while government employment decreased by 700 jobs. Provided below is a summary of the job gains and losses in all thirteen industry sectors.

Industry sector, Job gains/losses

Retail trade; +19,400
Leisure & hospitality; +18,100
Education and health services; +14,800
Constructio;, +8,500
Professional & business services; +4,100
Other services; +3,600
Transportation, warehousing and utilities; +2,300
Financial activities; +1,800
Wholesale trade; +1,100
Manufacturing; +100
Mining & logging; +100
Government; -700
Information; -2,200

Year-over-year change in payroll employment reflecting jobs lost in March and April

Washington lost an estimated 312,400 jobs from June 2019 through June 2020, not seasonally adjusted. Private sector employment fell by 9.2 percent, down an estimated 265,700 jobs, while public sector employment fell by 7.8 percent with a net loss of 46,700 jobs.

From June 2019 through June 2020, all thirteen major industry sectors contracted.
The three industry sectors with the largest employment losses year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:

Leisure and hospitality down 135,800 jobs
Government down 46,700 jobs
Education and health services down 36,300 jobs
Washington economy added back jobs during May
OLYMPIA – Washington’s economy added 52,500 jobs in May and the state’s preliminary seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for May decreased from 16.3 percent to 15.1 percent according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).
MonthTotal Jobs(1)2020(2)2019(2)
March 2020-25,4005.1 percent4.5 percent
April 2020-457,800*16.3 percent*4.4 percent
May 202052,50015.1 percent4.4 percent
(1)losses or gains (2)Unemployment Rate

"While the unemployment rate in Washington fell in May, it remained historically high as the state continued to navigate the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Over the past month, a small portion of the jobs lost during the first two months of the pandemic were recovered as the economy begins to re-open across the state.”

The Employment Security Department released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report.

The department also announced that April’s previously reported unemployment rate of 15.4 percent was revised upward to 16.3 percent. April’s preliminary estimated loss of 527,000 jobs was revised to a loss of 457,800 jobs.

The national unemployment rate decreased from 14.7 percent in April 2020 to 13.3 percent in May 2020. In May 2019, the national unemployment rate (revised) was 3.6 percent.

Employment Security paid regular unemployment insurance benefits to 715,542 people in May, an increase of 145,195 over the previous month.

Labor force decreased across the state

The state’s labor force in May was 3,943,500 – a decrease of 19,800 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force decreased by 8,500 over the same period.

From May 2019 through May 2020, the state’s labor force grew by 45,300 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region decreased by 17,900.

The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16. From April 2020 to May 2020, the number of people who were unemployed statewide decreased from 645,100 to 594,300. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the number of people who were unemployed decreased from 247,900 to 246,300 over the same period. Ten industry sectors expanded and three industry sectors contracted in May

Private sector employment increased by 72,600 and government employment decreased by 20,100. Provided below is a summary of the job gains and losses in all thirteen industry sectors.

Industry sectorJob gains/losses
Construction30,000
Leisure and hospitality22,600
Education and health services7,000
Manufacturing5,800
Professional and business services4,100
Retail trade3,500
Wholesale trade1,200
Other services1,000
Financial services500
Mining and logging100
Transportation, warehousing and utilities-600
Information-2,600
Government-20,100

Year-over-year growth in payroll employment ceases, now turns negative

Washington lost an estimated 408,200 jobs from May 2019 through May 2020, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector contracted by 12.5 percent, down an estimated 360,100 jobs, while public sector employment contracted 8.0 percent with a net loss of 48,100 jobs.

From May 2019 through May 2020, twelve major industry sectors contracted while only the information sector added (+1,400) jobs.

The three industry sectors with the largest employment losses year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:

Leisure and hospitality down 160,300 jobs

Education and health services down 55,900 jobs

Government down 48,100 jobs

COVID-19 impacts

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had impact on the May 2020 survey data. The household survey measures labor force status, including unemployment. The establishment survey measures nonfarm employment by industry.

Check out additional COVID-19 related information and FAQs from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Labor market information

ESD has new labor market information and tools, including interactive Tableau graphics to highlight popular information and data. Check it out!

Donald Tr*mp and the Wonderful World of Arithmetic
US President Donald Tr*mp claimed today 20 May 2020 that the US was doing better than Germany in combatting the coronavirus also known as Covid-19. Asked to describe the medical and social impact of the disease, he appeared unable to distinguish clearly between tallies and ratios. Let us clarify.

Postulate: Donald Tr*mp did not create Covid-19 and is not responsible for its introduction into the US.

Postulate: Raw tallies are meaningless due to the large differences in the respective national populations; to make a comparison one must compare ratios.

Fact: As of 20 May, Germany with 80MM residents has had 8,144 confirmed deaths and 178,400 cases (0.1018/1000) and 178400 cases (2.2310/1000).*

Fact: The US with 330MM residents has had 93,439 confirmed deaths (.2831/1000) and 1,551,473 cases (4.7014/1000).

Fact: If the number of deaths or cases in either country is inaccurate by 50%, the relative impact of the disease in the two countries would not change.

Conclusion: Turning to 5th grade arithmetic, that means that compared to Germany, the US has had 2.73 times as many deaths and 2.12 times as many cases per capita. So we have a higher rate of infection and once infected, a higher likelihood of death. In short, you couldn't pick a more likely place to become infected with Covid-19 or to die as a result than in Donald Tr*mp's America.

The cure for this disaster will be available on November 3.

* Source of statistics linked below; values will have changed since time of commentary.

Data source