On May 8, the unemployment rate for April 2020 was released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. At 14.7%, the rate is the highest it has been since the Great Depression when it reached 24.9%. Today’s data represents real families and lives affected by the COVID-19 economic slowdown. Without a doubt, the numbers are alarming, and headlines broadcast doomsday scenarios that can, quite frankly, feel overwhelming. However, there is hope that as businesses reopen, most people will become employed again soon.
Although this chart appears to be daunting, the our next chart, labelled “U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Weekly Unemployment Filings in millions” shows another picture we must bear in mind. See below:
Looking over the last several weeks, the number of unemployment claims has decreased week-over-week since the beginning of April. Carlos Rodriguez, CEO of Automatic Data Processing (ADP) states based on what he is seeing:
He goes on to say that this doesn’t mean all companies are hiring, but it could mean they are at the point where they’re not cutting jobs anymore. Let’s hope this trend continues.
What will the future bring?
Most experts predict that while unemployment is high right now, it won’t be that way for long. The length of unemployment during this crisis is projected to be significantly shorter than the duration seen in the Great Recession and the Great Depression. While forecasts may be high, the numbers are trending down and the length of time is not expected to be indefinite.
Don’t let the headlines rattle you. There’s hope on the horizon as we start to safely reopen businesses throughout the country. Unemployment affects our families, our businesses, and our country. Our job is to rally around those impacted and do our part to support them through this difficult time.