Coronavirus-induced job losses: Is the worst behind us?

LinkedIn report shows hiring began to level out in April

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While the April jobs report painted a bleak picture of the U.S. economy – as the unemployment rate jumped to its highest level since the Great Depression – a new study suggests the labor market may be showing some promising signs of stabilization.

The U.S. hiring rate began to level out in April after falling sharply in March, and it hasn’t declined any further in May, according to a report from LinkedIn’s chief economist Karin Kimbrough,

“While May isn’t showing material signs of improvement just yet, we are seeing some promising trends on the horizon: hiring is beginning to stabilize, and the curve of infection is trending down,” Kimbrough wrote.

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So while the U.S. hiring rate has not yet begun to rebound, it has plateaued. Since mid-April, hiring has been down about 25 percent year over year when compared with the same period in 2019.

Kimbrough described the situation as a “slow ramp up back to normal.”

The LinkedIn hiring rate is the percentage of its members who added a new employer to their profile in the same month a new job began, divided by the total number of LinkedIn members.

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Those hiring trends, Kimbrough said, should be replicated in countries across the globe throughout the next few weeks.

When it comes to worker confidence, employees in the south reported higher levels of optimism when compared with other parts of the country.

Interestingly, the report also showed an increase in confidence among small- and medium-sized businesses.

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As most states begin the process of slowly reopening their economies, the U.S. housing market has also shown early signs of improvement. The rate at which Americans are entering into mortgage loan forbearance agreements slowed as of May 10. Meanwhile, mortgage purchase applications have also been on the rise.

Since mid-March, more than 36 million Americans have filed jobless claims, while the unemployment rate skyrocketed to 14.7 percent in April, and the United States shed an unprecedented 20.5 million jobs.

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