NYTs – With much of the American economy in self-imposed shutdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus, April’s colossal surge in unemployment delivered a historic blow to workers.The US economy lost 20.5 million jobs in April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday — by far the most sudden and largest decline since the government began tracking the data in 1939.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought wave after wave of catastrophic economic data: The worst decline in gross domestic product in a decade. The worst retail sales report on record. The worst week ever for unemployment claims, and then two more twice as bad as that.
The reaction to the coronavirus pandemic has wiped out nearly that whole decade of job gains in just two months.