The United States Department of Labor released the April 2020 jobs report on Friday, which indicates that U.S. employers eliminated 20.5 million jobs in April, a record-breaking number as the country continues to deal with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With those losses, the U.S. unemployment rate is now 14.7 percent, the highest number since the Great Depression.
“Today’s report reflects the massive impact that measures to contain the coronavirus have had on the American workforce,” Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia said in a statement Friday. “This employment situation is exceptionally fluid. We know that today’s data reflect neither the additional layoffs that occurred in late April and early May, nor the employees beginning to return to work in some States.”
Secretary Scalia added that “by re-opening safely, we have the capacity to avoid permanent job losses for the overwhelming percent of Americans who, the report shows, currently view their job loss as temporary.”
The hospitality industry has sustained major losses, cutting more than 7.6 million jobs in April alone.
Additionally, education and health services lost 2.5 million jobs, while professional and business services, and retail, each lost about 2.1 million jobs.
The federal government has signed off on four economic-relief packages amounting to nearly $3 trillion as a way to limit the damage that the virus and subsequent lockdowns have done to American businesses and workers.