Economy

An Abysmal April Jobs Report

Record unemployment of 14.7% as more than 20 million Americans lose their jobs.

Nate Jackson · May 8, 2020

As we noted last week, America faces an economic pandemic. Today’s jobs report was every bit as bad as expected, and even at that the true picture is even worse.

“The April unemployment rate rose to a record 14.7% and payrolls dropped by an unprecedented 20.5 million as the coronavirus pandemic hit the economy,” reports The Wall Street Journal. CNBC adds, “A more encompassing measure that includes those not looking for work as well as those holding part-time jobs for economic reasons also hit an all-time high of 22.8%.”

We’re a long way from the record-low unemployment of just two months ago.

The same caveat applies to the April jobs report as to the one for March: It’s an incomplete measure of all the jobless claims to date. Thursday’s report of 3.2 million more jobless claims brought the pandemic total to more than 33 million Americans out of work. And due to incomplete reporting, even that could be more like 40 million.

The recovery is going to be a long slog, too. Bloomberg reports that “a new survey from the Society for Human Resource Management … found that 52% expect to be out of business within six months.” Obviously, businesses that are permanently closed aren’t going to be hiring. Yet there’s a glimmer of hope. The Journal adds, “83% of the increase in unemployment in March came from workers on temporary furloughs, not permanent layoffs.”

Even so, it’s no wonder there are growing health consequences caused by the prolonged lockdown.

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