U.S. Job Cuts Topped 27K Before Virus Shutdown:ADP

Companies south of the border reduced payrolls by 27,000 in early March... remarkably, before the worst of the coronavirus-induced economic freeze,

The report Wednesday from ADP and Moody’s Analytics also says actual losses for the month were far worse as indicated by the millions of people who already have filed unemployment claims. Wednesday’s report covers the period through March 12.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had forecast a loss of 125,000 jobs. However, the March ADP count as well as Friday’s non-farm payrolls report cover periods before the government instituted social distancing measures that have shut down large parts of the U.S. economy.

The March ADP number comes after a February gain of 179,000, revised lower from the initially reported 183,000.

The only employment numbers that are measuring the coronavirus impact in somewhat real time are the weekly initial jobless claims counts. Last week, first-time claims numbered nearly 3.3 million and are expected to show another 3.1 million when that number comes out Thursday.

The ADP count does show, however, that companies already were beginning to cut in a labor market that had been roaring.