US companies cut 20.2M jobs in April as coronavirus drives massive layoffs

Coronavirus job losses could total 30 million: Stephen Moore

FreedomWorks economist Stephen Moore on gradually reopening the economy and weekly jobless claims amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Private employers slashed 20.2 million jobs in April as the coronavirus-induced lockdown ravaged the U.S. economy, according to the ADP National Employment Report released Wednesday.

Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected a record 20.05 million job losses in the private sector. It was the largest decline on record since the survey started in 2002. The previous record was 834,665 in February 2009 in the midst of the Great Recession.

“Job losses of this scale are unprecedented," said Ahu Yildirmaz, co-head of the ADP Research Institute. "The total number of job losses for the month of April alone was more than double the total jobs lost during the Great Recession."


Since the virus outbreak gained a foothold in the U.S. about two months ago, forcing a majority of states to shutter nonessential businesses and direct residents to stay at home, 30 million Americans have filed for first-time jobless benefits.

Unemployment at this scale hasn’t been recorded since the Great Depression, when the jobless rate peaked at 25 percent.

The data is often a good indicator of what to expect in the more closely watched jobs report from the Labor Department on Friday, which is predicted to show the U.S. economy lost a record-shattering 21.85 million jobs last month, essentially erasing the past decade of job gains. Analysts anticipate unemployment will skyrocket to 16 percent from March's 4 percent.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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