No matter how you slice and dice it, today's ADP report is predicting that the US job market had one of its worst months on record in March. If Friday's employment report shows the same magnitude of job losses as today's ADP report, it will be the largest one-month decline in payrolls since October 1949.
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Given that the current labor force, even after all the job losses, is triple the size it was back in 1949, a more accurate way to compare fluctuations in the job market is by expressing monthly changes in terms of the percentage of the total workforce. Using this approach, anticipated job losses based on ADP for the month of March total 0.56% of the entire workforce. While we don't have to go all the way back to 1949 to find a comparable period, we still have to go back more than 30 years to December 1974.