April shows job loss numbers that have not been seen since the Great Depression

Coronavirus

April’s job losses have not been seen since the Great Depression.

Since those losses came from a global pandemic, economists say that they don’t have a lot of history in figuring out what will happen next.

The 20.5 million jobs lost in the month of April puts the national unemployment rate at 14.7%. Even the Great Recession of 2009 didn’t top ten percent.

The circumstances are so unique that even long time economic observers said that they can not predict how deep the losses will grow or how long they will last.

“The numbers we’re seeing so far are really in many ways unprecedented. So we really don’t have much experience with the depth of the recession we’re likely to experience. On the other hand given the uncertainty from the medical front, we’re still not sure how long this might last,” said Ken Louie, PHD, Penn State Erie.

The numbers are also spread across just about every sector of the economy which leaves relatively a few people untouched.

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Pennsylvania COVID-19 Map

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Health

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