Jobs Report April 2020

April 2, 2021
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America’s New Unemployment Rate


Better than expected and yet “the most heartbreaking day in the history of the job market.”

The Basics

Highest unemployment rate in the history of the survey dating back to 1948; also highest month-to-month increase ever.

20.5M jobs lost. Job losses seen in every category; gains in none.

Hardest hit: leisure and hospitality with more than 7M+ unemployed – nearly half the entire workforce in that category.

Something To Consider

In order to be counted as “unemployed” in a jobs report, an American has to be able to work, want to work and actively looking for work.

An estimated 9M+ Americans were laid-off but NOT actively looking for work (as their lay-off may be viewed as temporary). The government says *If* they were counted, the unemployment rate would be closer to 20%.

“The sharp increases in these measures reflect the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to contain it.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which produces this monthly jobs report, notes women have a higher unemployment rate (15.5%) than men (13%). The Wall Street Journal suggests this is because large job losses occurred in industries where women are "represented in high numbers," such as education and health services.

“This has got to be the most heartbreaking day in the history of the job market.”

Austan Goolsbee, former White House economic advisor to Pres. Obama, says "we have to hope that this is not a normal business cycle" and that it doesn't take many years to repair the damage. He says the government (federal and local) should provide more support to taxpayers to make sure they aren't evicted or have to"liquidate" if the job market doesn't improve soon.

“We’re going to rebuild it back as fast as we can.”

Pres. Trump on America's economy. While predicting to see a transition back over the next several months he says the stakes are high: "We have to come back otherwise you have a broken country." Over the last several weeks, lawmakers approved $3T+ of stimulus money during what the President referred to as an "artificial" or government-imposed shutdown of the economy. Additional stimulus is TBD as lawmakers have voiced concern about gov't debt.

Early estimates for this month's unemployment rate topped 16%, so this report was actually viewed by some as better than expected. For context: The national unemployment rate in March was 4.4%. Lingering questions: Is this report a one-off? How long does a job recovery take?

The Jobs Report:

A Message From The Editor: WATCH

COVID-19 Market Scaries: READ

Where did COVID-19 come from? WATCH

by Jenna Lee,