National unemployment sees largest-ever month-over-month increase in April

Coronavirus has heavily impacted unemployment numbers across the country. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Coronavirus has heavily impacted unemployment numbers across the country. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Coronavirus has heavily impacted unemployment numbers across the country. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The April employment situation summary released May 8 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the national unemployment rate rose to 14.7%, the highest month-over-month increase in the history of the series, which goes back to January 1948.

According to a press release from the BLS, the number of unemployed people across the country increased from 15.9 million to 23.1 million during the month of April.

"The sharp increases in these measures reflect the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to contain it," the press release states.

The BLS report also showed that the number of unemployed persons who reported being on temporary layoff increased tenfold to 18.1 million, with permanent job losses increased to 2 million, a rise of 544,000.

The press release indicates the labor force participation rate decreased by 2.5% over the month to a total of 60.2%, the lowest rate since January 1973.


Among the hardest-hit industries through coronavirus closures are leisure and hospitality, which lost 7.7 million jobs, or 47%. Other heavily impacted industries include education and health services, retail trade, manufacturing and other service industries, like personal and laundry, each of which saw job declines of over 1 million.

By contrast, general merchandise stores, including warehouse clubs and super centers, added 93,000 jobs through the month.

Stacey Standish, a BLS press office representative, said the organization is not making projections for May and will release additional data June 5.



By Andrew Christman
Andrew joined Community Impact Newspaper in early 2019 after moving from Indiana. He is a 2015 graduate from Indiana State University, where he received degrees in English and journalism. He has written for a number of small town publications throughout his career as a reporter.