In March, the United States shed 701,000 jobs, the first monthly drop since the Obama administration. According to Bloomberg, the jobless rate jumped to 4.4% last month:
Losses were led by the leisure and hospitality industry, which lost over 459,000 jobs.
This is just the official labor report, which doesn’t fully take into account the 10 million first time jobless claims over the past two weeks.
The March job losses are among the worst ever, but are expected to be far outpaced in April. That’s when the numbers will reflect the full impact of our economic shutdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Some estimates say that the U.S. will see up to a 30% economic contraction by the third quarter, and 45-50 million total jobs lots. A survey cited by Marketwatch reveals that 3 million people reported being out of work, and 1.6 million people dropped out of the labor force altogether.
Employment numbers had risen for 113 straight months prior to March.
Those banking on a so-called V-shaped recovery – in which the U.S. economy bounces back as precipitously as it has fallen — should adjust their expectations. The panic over coronavirus has revealed structural weaknesses in our financial system that have yet to resolve themselves.
Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available now at www.WhoOwnsTheDems.com. Jeff hosts a podcast at anchor.fm/BehindTheCurtain. You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff.