• Thomas Parker

Record 20 million jobs lost in April, sending unemployment rate to 15%

Updated: May 29, 2020

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its April report on Friday, showing 20.5 million in job losses. The unemployment rate shot up to 14.7%.

Private payrolls also declined by the most since ADP began tracking the figures in 2002, according to a report released by ADP on Wednesday. The report showed private sector job losses of more than 20 million, obliterating the previous record of 834,000 in February of 2009.

“Job losses of this scale are unprecedented,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “The total number of job losses for the month of April alone was more than double the total jobs lost during the Great Recession.”

The report uses the week of April 12 as its baseline, perhaps still underestimating the damage done to the economy by the novel coronavirus and subsequent shutdowns, as weeks following the week of April 12 saw another 8 million Americans file for unemployment benefits, and another 3 million were expected to do so last week.

Job losses were significant in the services and hospitality sector as restaurants closed or transitioned to carry-out only. The sector saw 8.6 million in job losses, even with many transitioning to carry-out or delivery.

Trade, transportation, and utilities lost 3.4 million jobs, while construction lost 2.5 million jobs. Manufacturing, other services, and professional and business services all lost more than 1 million jobs.

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