In the past month, the nation’s unemployment rate jumped to 4.4% from 3.5%. Still, economists said that number is irrelevant because it excludes the now more than 22 million people who have filed for unemployment benefits after their jobs were abruptly shuttered. On April 16, the Labor Department reported another 5.25 million Americans filed for unemployment. The numbers are the largest since the Great Depression of the late 1920s and early ’30s.Also, in an April 14 report, the International Monetary Fund said the world economy in 2020 would suffer its worst year since the Great Depression. IMF said it expects the global economy to shrink 3% this year, far worse than its 0.1% dip in the Great Recession year of 2009.
“The increases in March were based on exceptional demand from shippers through March 22, at which point the market turned dramatically,” said Peggy Dorf, Senior Market Analyst at DAT Solutions. “Consumers and supply chains began to adjust to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the urgency to replenish inventory and secure available capacity on the spot market fell significantly.”He added that demand for reefer equipment will improve sooner, as spring produce harvests begin in California and the Southeast U.S. Flatbed freight, which is closely tied to energy markets and construction, remains significantly affected by the downturn in oil prices.
DAT Truckload Volume Index