The coronavirus pandemic has killed tens of thousands of Americans and cost the economy millions of jobs. But it can be hard to fathom just how bad the economic collapse has been in the last several weeks, or how swiftly the destruction occurred.
Here are six charts to help explain the true scale of the economic crash:
1. The unemployment rate hit its highest level since the Great Depression era
April’s unemployment rate rocketed to 14.7 percent. That’s the highest since 1940.
2. Latino Americans have been hit especially hard by job losses
The unemployment rate for Latinos had been at historic lows before the coronavirus reversed those gains, and Latino unemployment saw an especially large jump.
3. The economy has lost all of the jobs it gained since 2011.
US employers had added jobs for a record 113 consecutive months until March.
4. Some industries fared better than others
Almost every sector saw major job losses. One exception: what the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls “warehouse clubs,” like Costco, and retail supercenters.
5. Workers’ average hourly earnings spiked ― but that’s not a good thing
The monthly gain in earnings shot up in April largely because so many lower-wage jobs were lost.
6. But there’s a bit of good news
Nearly 80 percent of unemployed workers described their job loss as temporary and expected to be recalled within six months.
Jim Puzzanghera can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @JimPuzzanghera. Christina Prignano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.