WASHINGTON – The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday, May 8, that the nation’s jobless rate surged to 14.7 percent in April, making it the worst report since the World War II era.
The economy lost an estimated 20.5 million jobs because of business closures and disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic, according to information released by the bureau.
The all-time highest unemployment rate was 24.9 percent in 1933 during the Great Depression.
In April, the unemployment rate increased by 10.3 percentage points to 14.7 percent. This is the highest rate and the largest over-the-month increase in the history of the series (seasonally adjusted data are available back to January 1948).
The number of unemployed persons rose by 15.9 million to 23.1 million in April.
In April, unemployment rates rose sharply among all major worker groups. The rate was 13.0 percent for adult men, 15.5 percent for adult women, 31.9 percent for teenagers, 14.2 percent for whites, 16.7 percent for blacks, 14.5 percent for Asians and 18.9 percent for Hispanics. The rates for all of these groups, with the exception of blacks, represent record highs for their respective series, the bureau said.
State by state and county statistics for the month of April will be released later this month.