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20.5 million jobs were destroyed in April

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May 09, 2020 - 05:49 AM

WASHINGTON, DC  – WITH AFP : With shops and factories closed nationwide due to the coronavirus pandemic, nearly all of the jobs created in the US economy in the last decade were wiped out in a single month.

An unprecedented 20.5 million jobs were destroyed in April in the world’s largest economy, the biggest amount ever recorded, the Labor Department said in a report released Friday, the first to capture the impact of a full month of the lockdowns.

That drove the unemployment rate to 14.7 percent from 4.4 percent in March — the highest level since the Great Depression of the last century.

The United States is home to the world’s largest and deadliest coronavirus outbreak, with more than 75,000 fatalities and 1.2 million cases reported as of Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The economic damage from the lockdowns to contain the virus has been swift and stunning, despite nearly $3 trillion in financial aid approved by Congress, and there is growing fear that the temporary layoffs will become permanent since some companies won’t survive.

Taken together, 21.4 million jobs were destroyed in March and April, nearly equal to the 23 million positions created during the economy’s long expansion from February 2010 to February 2020.

All major industry sectors felt the pain.

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