World's largest economy America faces the worst economic setback of decades

Shares
World's largest economy America faces the worst economic setback of decades

WASHINGTON: World's largest economy America faces the worst economic setback of decades.

The coronavirus lockdown wiped out 20.5 million US jobs in April, destroying nearly all the positions created in the previous decade in the world’s largest economy, the country’s labour department reported on Friday.

The unprecedented collapse drove the unemployment rate to 14.7 per cent — well beyond the peak hit in late 2009 during the global financial crisis — from 4.4pc in March.

And job losses in March were worse than initially reported, falling 870,000 even though the business closures mostly happened in the second half of the month.

The plunge in non-farm payroll employment was the largest ever recorded since 1939, while the jobless rate was the highest and the biggest increase since 1948, the report said.

Employment fell sharply in all major industry sectors, with particularly heavy job losses in leisure and hospitality, the first sector hit and the one bearing the brunt of the impact of the lockdowns.

However, the labour department noted that the some workers were misclassified in the report as employed when they should have been counted as laid off.

Had they been listed properly, the unemployment rate would have been nearly five percentage points higher.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump downplayed unprecedented US job losses, saying they were not a surprise.