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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.
Job losses and pay cuts are ranging across the world. Unemployment in the 19-country eurozone is expected to surpass 10 percent in coming months as more people are laid off. That figure is expected to remain lower than the U.S. unemployment rate. But it doesn't count many people who either are furloughed or whose hours are cut but who receive most of their wages from government assistance.
In the five weeks covered by the U.S. jobs report for April, 26.5 million people applied for unemployment benefits. The job loss to be reported Friday may be less because the two are measured differently: The government calculates job losses by surveying businesses and households. It’s a net figure that also counts the hiring that some companies, like Amazon and many grocery stores, have done. By contrast, the total jobless claims is a measure of just the layoff side of the equation.
For the United States, a key question is where the job market goes from here. Applications for unemployment aid, while high, have declined for five straight weeks, a sign that the worst of the layoffs has passed. Still, few economists expect a rapid turnaround.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.