Press release

ThinkWhy® Advises U.S. Businesses on Labor Market Conditions Following March Jobs Report

Sponsored by Businesswire

ThinkWhy, a SaaS company helping businesses navigate the labor market, has released its U.S. monthly jobs report for March 2020. The company estimates that the actual unemployment rate for March is near 12%.

As reported monthly through the BLS, the U.S. unemployment rate for March rose to 4.4 percent. However, this represents data collected up until March 14, a period that preceded many of the coronavirus-related business and school closures and other public health efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Marianne Wanamaker, ThinkWhy Executive Advisory Board member and Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Tennessee, stated, “Today’s jobs report is only the beginning of what is likely to be a series of record-breaking reports. The separation of Americans from employment is stark, and the rate at which employees re-attach to the labor market will be the single most important metric of the COVID-19 recovery.”

“There is no historical precedent for the number of jobs and lives impacted by COVID-19. The U.S. labor market saw 52 months of job growth disappear in two weeks, and most businesses are changing strategies for the short- and long-term to stay operationalized,” adds Claudine Zachara, President and COO of ThinkWhy.

Labor Market Performance:

  • Loss of 701,000 jobs as impact of COVID-19 begins to be felt
  • Employment in Leisure and Hospitality fell 459,000 (417,000 of which were in food service and drinking places)
  • Labor force participation decreased to 62.7 percent
  • Wage growth increased 3.1 percent, as some companies were still implementing salary increases and bonuses early in the month
  • Combined January and February revisions were down by 59,000 jobs

Consumer sentiment, a measure of consumer attitudes, dropped 11.9 index points in March, the fourth largest one-month decline in nearly 50 years, further indicating the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the economy.

ThinkWhy It Matters: Key Takeaways from the March Employment Report

Unlike in a typical recession, the economy is being challenged by a force that is not policy-driven. To navigate these challenging times, businesses can:

  • Explore options to leverage the CARES Act to support continued business operations
  • Ensure your organization has thorough communication practices in place for all employees
  • Drive employee engagement activities to improve retention risks
  • Prepare or update business continuity plans and plan for extended disruption
  • Seek and explore potential business affiliations to extend your resources

For companies and industries hiring during this time, a surplus of workers are now flooding into the job market, supporting your talent acquisition.

Industry Movement:

  • Leisure and Hospitality: Loss of 459,000 jobs in March; with heavy impact to restaurants, Leisure and Hospitality is now one of hardest hit industries
  • Education and Health Care Services: Loss within this industry was 76,000 jobs
  • Professional and Business Services: Loss within this industry was 52,000 jobs
  • Trade, Transportation and Utilities: Loss within this industry was 49,000 jobs
  • Construction: Loss within this industry was 29,000 jobs
  • Manufacturing: Loss within this industry was 18,000 jobs
  • Financial Activities: Loss within this industry was 1,000 jobs
  • Government: Gain within this industry was 12,000 jobs

To read the full report, click here. ThinkWhy continuously monitors and forecasts labor data at all levels, measuring impact to MSAs and businesses across the country, to support organizations and provide insights during the economic downturn as well as the recovery phase.

LaborIQ™, ThinkWhy’s proprietary labor market reporting platform, is currently available for all U.S. organizations. For additional information on LaborIQ, please visit

About ThinkWhy

ThinkWhy is helping companies navigate a new era of work by creating modern, human-centered software that supports better career lives. ThinkWhy’s flagship product, LaborIQ, is the first platform to bridge the gap between market analysis and salary answers, creating a strategic advantage for business leaders.

Learn more at or follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @ThinkWhy_ and on Facebook at @ThinkWhyLLC and LinkedIn at @ThinkWhy-LLC.