3/6: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

COVID-19 did not increase planned job cuts, with February totals down from both January and year-on-year

Despite widespread concern, COVID-19 has not yet caused companies to cut positions, with February job cuts announced by U.S.-based employers falling 16.4 percent from January and 26.3 percent year-on-year to 56,660.  Through February, employers announced 124,395 job cuts, down 4.2 percent from the same period of 2019.



Initial unemployment claims decline by 3,000 in weekly report

In the week ending February 29, initial unemployment claims were 216,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 219,000. The 4-week moving average was 213,000, an increase of 3,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 209,750.



February service sector index rose 1.8 points to 57.3, highest level in a year

The February NMI® registered 57.3 percent, which is 1.8 percentage points higher than the January reading of 55.5 percent and the highest level since February 2019. Most respondents are concerned about the coronavirus and its supply chain impact as well as labor resources, but do remain positive about business conditions and the overall economy.