almost 4 years ago • 2 mins
The US has a lot going on right now and just can’t commit to its workers: data out on Friday showed the number of jobs in the US fell by more than 20 million last month 💼
Roughly a decade’s worth of new jobs was wiped out in April, or to put it the way Bloomberg did: as many jobs were lost last month as were lost in every economic downturn since the ‘70s combined 😲 Coronavirus, of course, was mostly to blame, which is clear from the industries that laid off the most workers: the shuttered leisure and hospitality sector, for one, accounted for 40% of the jobs lost in the private sector.
The US unemployment rate was reported at 14.7% in April overall, but the government acknowledged that mistakes in the data brought the real rate closer to 19% – the highest since 1948. And that’s without the job losses incurred in the last few weeks: since this data only covers the jobs that were lost before April 12th, May’s likely to bring even more bad news 📆
Economists who’ve been predicting a rapid return to growth when economies reopen – i.e. a V-shaped recovery – might now be tempering their expectations. 70% of the American economy is made up of consumer spending, and with so many jobs having been lost, there won’t be nearly as many people able to splash their economy-boosting cash 💵
Half the Federal Reserve’s “dual mandate” is to create maximum employment, so some investors reckon the historic level of unemployment might spur the US central bank into further action. In fact, traders are now betting US interest rates will become negative for the first time ever by the end of this year 📉 That cheaper borrowing might encourage businesses to rehire more quickly, sure, but it’ll also hurt banks – themselves major employers – as lower rates drive lower earnings.
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