Breaking: Coronavirus consumes over 20m US jobs

The U.S. unemployment rate has hit 14.7 percent and 20.5 million jobs were lost in April, New York times reports.

The Labor Department said Friday that the economy shed more than 20.5 million jobs in April, sending the unemployment rate to 14.7 percent — devastation unseen since the Great Depression.

The report underscores the speed and depth of the labor market’s collapse as the coronavirus pandemic took a devastating toll. In February, the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent, a half-century low. And even since the survey was taken, millions of people have filed claims for jobless benefits.

The April job losses alone far exceed the 8.7 million in the last recession, when unemployment peaked at 10 percent in October 2009. The only comparable period came when the rate reached about 25 percent in 1933, before the government began publishing official statistics.

Many of the unemployed said they had been temporarily laid off and expected to return to their jobs. But the joblessness that began with layoffs in the leisure and hospitality industry has extended throughout the economy, from manufacturing and retail industries to white-collar redoubts like business services, meaning it will take longer for the labor market to recover.

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