James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank
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St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said Wednesday that Friday’s jobs report, which will show how the U.S. unemployment changed in April, will likely be one of the worst in American history.
“I’ve long maintained that the main impact here will be in the second quarter, the negative impact. We’re going to see crazy ADP numbers today and the jobs report will probably be one of the worst ever on Friday,” Bullard told CNBC’s Steve Liesman.
“But that’s kind of expected because you’re using the unemployment insurance program to provide pandemic relief,” he added. “That’s exactly what we want to do.”
Bullard’s comments came minutes before ADP reported that private payrolls shed more than 20 million jobs in April as employers slashed worker positions amid widespread shutdowns and forced government closures to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The decline totaled 20,236,000 and represented by far the worst loss in the survey’s 18-year history. Despite the eye-watering number, the 20.2 million wasn’t as bad as the 22 million that economists surveyed by Dow Jones had forecast.
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