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Coronavirus deals U.S. job losses of 20.5 million, historic unemployment rate in April

  • Coronavirus deals U.S. job losses of 20.5 million, historic unemployment rate in April
    The rise means the jobless rate is now worse than at any time since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Coronavirus deals U.S. job losses of 20.5 million, historic unemployment rate in April
Region:
USA
Category:
Society
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The US unemployment rate has risen to 14.7%, with 20.5 million jobs lost in April, as the coronavirus pandemic devastated the economy.

The U.S. economy lost a staggering 20.5 million jobs in April, the steepest plunge in payrolls since the Great Depression and the starkest sign yet of how the novel coronavirus pandemic is battering the world’s biggest economy.

The rise means the jobless rate is now worse than at any time since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Since the pandemic began, the US has suffered its worst growth numbers in a decade and the worst retail sales report on record.

Just two months ago, the unemployment rate was at 3.5%, a 50-year low.

The U.S. economy lost a staggering 20.5 million jobs in April, the steepest plunge in payrolls since the Great Depression and the starkest sign yet of how the novel coronavirus pandemic is battering the world’s biggest economy.

The Labor Department’s closely watched monthly employment report on Friday also showed the unemployment rate surging to 14.7% last month, shattering the post-World War Two record of 10.8% touched in November 1982.

The bleak numbers strengthen analysts’ expectations of a slow recovery from the recession caused by the pandemic, adding to a pile of dismal data on consumer spending, business investment, trade, productivity and the housing market. The report underscores the devastation unleashed by lockdowns imposed by states and local governments in mid-March to slow the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus.

The economic crisis spells trouble for President Donald Trump’s bid for a second term in the White House in November’s election. After the Trump administration was criticized for its initial reaction to the pandemic, Trump is eager to reopen the economy, despite a continued rise in COVID-19 infections and dire projections of deaths.

“Our economy is on life support now,” said Erica Groshen, a former commissioner of the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. “We will be testing the waters in the next few months to see if it can emerge safely from our policy-induced coma,” added Groshen, who is now a senior extension faculty member at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast nonfarm payrolls diving by 22 million. Data for March was revised to show 870,000 jobs lost instead of 701,000 as previously reported. A record streak of job growth dating to October 2010 ended in March. The unemployment was forecast rising to 16% from 4.4% in April.