As expected, the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) monthly jobs report, released this morning, was grim. The DOL reports that more than 20.5 million jobs were lost in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic, putting the unemployment rate at an unprecedented 14.7 percent—the worst since the Great Depression. By comparison, the unemployment rate in February of this year, it was at a 50-year low of 3.5 percent. The job losses in April alone exceeded the 8.7 million lost throughout the duration of the Great Recession, which peaked in October 2009.
In its report, the DOL says that employment "fell sharply in all major industry sectors, with particularly heavy job losses in leisure and hospitality," as well as among all major worker groups. The rate was 13 percent for adult men, 15.5 percent for adult women, 31.9 percent for teenagers, 14.2 percent for Whites, 16.7 percent for Blacks, 14.5 percent for Asians and 18.9 percent for Hispanics.