By Ken Martin
May 8, 2020
It is expected to be the worst set of jobs numbers since record-keeping began in 1948.
The U.S. economy is expected to lose an unprecedented 22 million jobs, with estimates running as high as 35 million, wiping out every job created in the past 10 years. Watch for the unemployment rate to skyrocket from 4.4 percent to 16 percent.
If so, it would mean that nearly all the job growth in the 11 years since the Great Recession ended had vanished in one month.
Even those numbers won’t fully capture the scope of the damage the coronavirus has inflicted on jobs and incomes.
Many people who are still employed have had their hours reduced. Others have suffered pay cuts. Some who lost jobs in April and didn’t look for a new one in light of their bleak prospects won’t even be counted as unemployed. A broader measure — the proportion of adults with jobs — could hit a record low.During the Great Recession of 2008-2009, the nation lost 6.5 percent of its jobs over a two-year span. It was the worst loss in any recession since World War II. Yet in just April alone, the expected job loss of 21 million would amount to 14 percent percent of all jobs — more than twice as much.
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