Unemployment rate skyrockets
The U.S. unemployment rate hit 14.7 percent in April, the highest it has been since the Great Depression. Last month saw 20.5 million jobs lost, the worst on record, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released on Friday. The unemployment rate does not count people who lost their jobs in April but didn’t look for new work, the report noted.
Is it going to get better soon? The number of applications for unemployment benefits remains high but has decreased for five consecutive weeks, suggesting the worst wave of layoffs has passed. But how quickly the unemployment rate falls again depends on when governors ease restrictions on businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic, how employers respond, and whether consumers resume their normal activities.
Dig deeper: Read Katie Gaultney’s report about the confusion over which businesses count as essential and can remain open during state shutdowns.
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