NATIONAL NEWS

US Sheds 701,000 Jobs, Ending A Record-Long Hiring Streak

Apr 3, 2020, 7:34 AM | Updated: 7:34 am
FILE (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...
FILE (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A record-long streak of U.S. job growth ended suddenly in March after nearly a decade as employers cut 701,000 jobs because of the viral outbreak that’s all but shut down the U.S. economy. The unemployment rate jumped to 4.4% from a 50-year low of 3.5%.

Last month’s actual job loss was likely even larger because the government surveyed employers before the heaviest layoffs hit in the past two week. Nearly 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in the last two weeks of March, far exceeding the figure for any corresponding period on record.

Virus-induced shutdowns have forced widespread layoffs throughout the economy, from hotels, restaurants and movie theaters to auto factories, department stores and administrative offices.

One sign of how painfully deep the job losses will likely prove to be: During its nearly decade-long hiring streak, the U.S. economy added 22.8 million jobs. Economists expect the April jobs report being released in early May to show that all those jobs will have been lost.

As recently as February, employers had added 273,000 jobs. Some economists have now forecast that the unemployment rate could go as high as 15% within the next month. That rate would be the worst since the 1930s. During the Great Recession, unemployment peaked at 10%.

More than 90% of the U.S. population is now living under some version of a shutdown order, which has forced the closure of bars, restaurants, movie theaters, factories, gyms and most other businesses. Some hotels are closed; others are largely empty. Fast-food chains are either closed or providing only drive-through service, costing thousands of jobs.

With business activity tightly restricted, analysts expect a stomach-churning recession. Economists at Goldman Sachs have forecast that the economy will shrink at an annual rate of 34% in the April-June quarter — the worse fall on records dating to World War II. Goldman expects the economy to rebound with 19% growth in the third quarter. But even by the end of next year, the economy will not have fully recovered from the damage, Goldman projects.

Robert Kaplan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said Thursday on CNBC that he expects the unemployment rate to rise to the mid-teens soon, before falling to about 8% by year’s end.

A key determinant of the economy’s future will be whether businesses can survive the shutdown and rehire many of the workers they laid off. If so, that would help the economy snap back and avoid the type of weak recovery that followed the past three downturns.

So far, some large and small businesses are still paying for health care benefits and keeping in touch with their newly laid-off workers. But if the virus outbreak forces businesses to stay closed into the late summer, many may go bankrupt or won’t have the money to rehire their old employees.

That would keep unemployment elevated, depriving potentially millions of people of a paycheck and slowing the recovery.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the American Freedom Tour at the Austin Convention...
Kaitlan Collins, Katelyn Polantz and Tierney Sneed, CNN

Justice Department insists to Trump’s attorneys that he return all documents marked classified

Justice Department officials have demanded in recent weeks to former President Donald Trump's attorneys that he return any outstanding documents marked as classified.
22 hours ago
UNSPECIFIED, GEORGIA - SEPTEMBER 28: Russians and Armenians seen with their luggage after crossing ...
BECKY BOHRER, Associated Press

2 Russians seek asylum after reaching remote Alaska island

Two Russians who said they fled the country to avoid military service have requested asylum in the U.S. after landing on a remote Alaska island.
22 hours ago
The US military conducted a raid in northeast Syria targeting a senior ISIS official on October 5, ...
Oren Liebermann and Ellie Kaufman

US kills two top ISIS leaders in Syria airstrike

US forces killed two top ISIS leaders in an airstrike in northern Syria on Thursday, according to two defense officials, one day after a US raid killed an ISIS smuggler.
22 hours ago
MIDDLETOWN, MD- OCTOBER: 20
Stephen Ferrone (left) and his son Stevie Ferrone, 16  carry Herman bac...
AJ Willingham, CNN

How a 12-foot skeleton became the hottest Halloween decoration around

There are two kinds of people: those who understand the allure of a 12-foot skeleton decoration, and those who have yet to understand the allure of a 12-foot skeleton decoration.
22 hours ago
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS APRIL 25:  In this photo illustration,  The Twitter profile of Elon Musk with mor...
Associated Press

Musk lawyers say Twitter refusing new $44B bid for company

Elon Musk’s lawyers say Twitter is refusing the Tesla billionaire’s renewed $44 billion bid for the social media company.
22 hours ago
(Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)...
Associated Press

Police: 1 dead, 5 injured in stabbings along Las Vegas Strip

One person was killed and at least five others injured in a stabbing attack along the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday, and police said a suspect was in custody.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
US Sheds 701,000 Jobs, Ending A Record-Long Hiring Streak