Employment fell sharply in all major industry sectors, with particularly heavy job losses in leisure and hospitality.
In April, the unemployment rate increased by 10.3 percentage points to 14.7 percent. This is the highest rate and the largest over-the-month increase in the history of the series (seasonally adjusted data are available back to January 1948). The number of unemployed persons rose by 15.9 million to 23.1 million in April. The sharp increases in these measures reflect the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to contain it.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR STAFFING?
The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job, at 9.9 million, nearly doubled in April. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the last 4 weeks or were unavailable to take a job. Professional and business services shed 2.1 million jobs in April. Sharp losses occurred in temporary help services (-842,000) and in services to buildings and dwellings (-259,000).
The number of unemployed persons who reported being on temporary layoff increased about ten-fold to 18.1 million in April. The number of permanent job losers increased by 544,000 to 2 million.
Source: Bureau of Labor and Statistics, THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — APRIL 2020
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