U.S. lost 701,000 jobs in March as COVID-19 devastates economy
The 701,000 payroll losses are the most since 800,000 jobs were lost in March 2009, and they end a record 113-month streak of gains dating to October 2010.
The U.S. lost 701,000 jobs in March as a result of the growing COVID-19 pandemic in that country, far surpassing the consensus projection among economists for a loss of 100,000 jobs in March.
The 701,000 payroll losses are the most since 800,000 jobs were lost in March 2009 during the height of the Great Recession, and they end a record 113-month streak of gains dating to October 2010.
According to data released on April 3 by the U.S. Labor Department, the unemployment rate in America rose to 4.4 per cent from 3.5 per cent in February, the largest one-month jump since January 1975.
Businesses across the country have been forced to close or restrict their operations to comply with federal and state government bans on social gatherings issued last month in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the leisure and hospitality industry lost 459,000 jobs in March, including 417,000 restaurant and bar jobs. Healthcare lost 61,000 jobs; professional and business services, 52,000; retail, 46,000; construction, 29,000; and manufacturing, 18,000.
Government was among the few sectors that actually increased job numbers in March, adding 12,000 jobs, including 18,000 by the federal government, mostly temporary employees for the 2020 census.
Approximately 6.6 million Americans filed unemployment claims in the last week of March, and a total of 10 million people in the U.S. have now filed for jobless claims since the coronavirus pandemic began in that country.