WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. unemployment rate rocketed to 14.7% in April, a level last seen during the Great Depression, as 20.5 million jobs vanished in the worst monthly loss on record — stark evidence of how the coronavirus has brought the economy to its knees.
The breathtaking losses, reported by the Labor Department on Friday, are certain to intensify the push-pull over how and when to ease the coast-to-coast shutdowns of factories, stores, offices and other businesses. And they rob President Donald Trump of the ability to point to a strong economy as he runs for reelection.
“The damage that we’re seeing from the great coronavirus recession is traumatic,” said Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics. “It’s going to take a long time before the labor market recovers to its pre-recession state.”