Financial and business news from Bulgaria

Over 20 million Americans lost their jobs in April due to pandemic

The U.S. economy lost a staggering 20.5 million jobs in April, a record drop in employment since the Great Depression nearly a century ago, and the unemployment rate jumped to the highest level since the end of World War II, reaching 14.7 percent, the BNR reported.
Today's data is the most obvious sign of how powerfully the coronavirus pandemic has hit the world's leading economy, which is also facing its biggest crisis in nearly a century.

The Labor Department said that last month US employers laid off as many as 20 million and 500 thousand of their employees after a month earlier 870 thousand were made redundant.

Job losses were most devastating at retailers, restaurateurs, hoteliers and industrial manufacturers, but in April the big American industry suffered. Even health care lost 1.4 million jobs last month amid the worst health crisis in America's history, official government figures show.

The hotel and restaurant businesses saw 7.6 million jobs cut, at least temporarily, as Americans stayed at home in view of quarantine measures introduced to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Retail employment split last month by 2.1 million jobs, with the most suffering traders without a presence on the online network as the passenger flow along them dried up de facto.

The surprise sacrifice turned out to be the healthcare industry, where employment was growing for decades. Nearly 1.5 million jobs in the medical profession were wiped out in April as patients avoided hospitals and a number of health procedures were cancelled because of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, industrial producers split by 1.3 million jobs and construction companies laid off nearly 1 million workers.

In April, 19,520 million jobs were cut in the private sector of the US economy and 980 thousand in the public sector.

Mass cuts resulted in an unemployment rate of 4.4% growth in March to a record 14.7% in April. It was the highest unemployment rate in the United States since World War II, exceeding the previous postwar level of 10.8 percent in November 1982. Thus, the unemployment rate began to approach a historic peak of 25 per cent reached during the Great Depression in the 1930s.

Although financial market forecasts were for even weaker data (22 million jobs lost and unemployment growth up to 16%), the dismal figures reinforce expectations of analysts and economists for a very slow recovery from the recession caused by the pandemic.