Job seekers
Job seekers wait outside the Pasadena Community Job Centre in Pasadena, California. The Global jobs slump has put US payrolls in the spotlight. Image Credit: New York Times

New York: The scale of global job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic will become more apparent this week, as some of the world’s biggest economies release labour market data.

After last week’s report showing a historic jump in US jobless claims, all eyes will be on next Friday’s payrolls data for more signs of the hit to employment — with most expecting the worst reading in a decade.

Japan, Germany, Italy and the euro region as a whole will also release labour market data that will reflect some of the impact of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, data from around the world covering activity, house prices and sentiment will give more insight into the depth of the economic slowdown.

The March jobs report on Friday will be the first to reflect the impact of business shutdowns to prevent the coronavirus’s spread, but the numbers — largely based on the week ending March 14 — probably preceded the worst impact, including what’s in the jobless claims report due Thursday. Even so, it could still be the first monthly payroll decline since 2010.

Claims are likely to show another massive wave of Americans filing for unemployment benefits in the week ended March 28, following the prior week’s record 3.28 million. Elsewhere, readings on consumer confidence and ISM surveys of manufacturers and service companies will show the extent of the virus’s hit on sentiment.


As the virus fallout continues to ravage economies across the region, the week kicks off with a monetary policy decisions in island economy of Singapore, which uses the currency instead of interest rates as its main tool and is expected to take aggressive steps to ease policy in order to reduce the pace of appreciation in the local dollar.

China Official PMIs

Tuesday’s China PMI readings for March will be closely monitored for signs the world’s No. 2 economy is starting to recover from its cratering in January and February. Regional manufacturing surveys follow on Wednesday. Also Wednesday, South Korean trade figures will be watched as a barometer of global commerce.

Europe, Middle East and Africa

A slump in oil prices sent Euro-area inflation tumbling in March, data due Tuesday will show. While a rate closer to zero than the European Central Bank’s goal of just below 2 per cent would normally spark renewed discussion about an extra dose of monetary stimulus, economists and investors — and maybe even policymakers — might just shrug off this month’s reading as an inevitable consequence of the world’s most fundamental crisis since the Second World War. With most of European countries in lockdown and the coronavirus spreading furiously across borders, the ECB and the region’s governments have already unleashed measures worth several trillions of euros to support the economy.

UK data on Monday is set to show mortgage approval fell in February before the government moved to freeze Britain’s housing market in response to the coronavirus pandemic. GDP figures a day later are predicted to confirm the economy stalled in the fourth quarter.