PODCAST: Verifying income during times of high unemployment


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Friday morning that nonfarm payroll employment increased by 2.5 million in May, and the unemployment rate declined by 1.4 percentage points to 13.3%.

“These improvements in the labor market reflected a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it,” BLS commissioner William Beach said in a statement that accompanied the new data.

Despite the labor gains, Jennifer Reid of Equifax earlier this week reiterated the importance for dealerships and finance companies to verify income during a time of uncertain employment situations. The vice president – automotive marketing & strategy leader – U.S. information solutions (USIS) at Equifax returned for another episode of the Auto Remarketing Podcast to discuss income verification and more.

Meanwhile, consumers might be more interested in taking on auto-finance debt if their job status is on surer footing.

In May, the BLS indicated employment rose in several major industry sectors, with the largest gains in leisure and hospitality, construction, education and health services, and retail trade. By contrast, the newest updated showed employment in government continued to decline sharply.

“To put the May employment gain of 2.5 million in context, substantial job losses related to the coronavirus pandemic started in March, as payroll employment declined by 1.4 million, as revised,” Beach said. “Job losses deepened considerably in April, as nonfarm employment plummeted by an additional 20.7 million, as revised. At 132.9 million in May, total nonfarm employment is nearly 20 million (or 13%) lower than in February, before the pandemic crisis unfolded in many parts of the United States.

“Furthermore, although unemployment fell in May, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed people are up by 9.8  percentage points and 15.2 million, respectively, since February,” Beach went on to say.

Figures like those ones are likely why Equifax is seeing surges in demand for its solutions, including the Work Number, according to what Reid mentioned during the podcast.

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