More than 20 million jobs vanished from the U.S. labor market in April as the CCP Virus (COVID-19) pandemic is battering the world’s biggest economy. As a result, the country’s jobless rate spiked to its highest level since the Great Depression.
Total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 20.5 million in April, the steepest plunge in payrolls since the Great Depression, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday, May 8.
The unemployment rate rose by 10.3 percentage points to 14.7% in April, representing the highest rate and the largest over-the-month increase in the history of the series back to January 1948.
The number of unemployed rose by 15.9 million to 23.1 million in April.
The bureau said the changes in those measures reflect the effects of the CCP Virus pandemic and efforts to contain it. Many states and local governments have imposed lockdowns to curb the spread of the CCP Virus since mid-March.
In March, the revised data showed that 870,000 jobs were lost instead of 701,000 as previously reported.
In April, employment fell sharply in all major industry sectors, with particularly heavy job losses in leisure and hospitality. Data shows that the number of unemployed who reported being on temporary layoff increased about tenfold to 18.1 million in April, while the number of permanent job losers increased 544,000 to 2.0 million.
The labor force participation rate decreased 2.5 percentage points over the month to 60.2%, the lowest rate since January1973 when it was 60.0%.
Total employment, as measured by the household survey, fell by 22.4 million to 133.4 million. The employment-population ratio, at 51.3%, dropped by 8.7 percentage points over the month. This is the lowest rate and largest over-the-month decline in the history of the series.
In an interview with Fox News on Friday, President Donald Trump voiced confidence that the U.S. economy will quickly rebound and brushed off the record-breaking job losses.
“It’s fully expected. There’s no surprise,” the president said shortly after the report was released.
“What I can do is I’ll bring it back,” President Trump said. “Those jobs will all be back, and they’ll be back very soon. And next year we’ll have a phenomenal year.”