'No Surprise': Trump Plays Down Unprecedented New Unemployment Record as US Loses 20.5 Million Jobs in April
File photo of US President Donald Trump (Reuters)
President Donald Trump on Friday downplayed unprecedented job losses in the United States, saying they were not a surprise.
"It's fully expected, there's no surprise. Somebody said, 'oh look at this,'" he said on Fox News minutes after the Labor Department published the figures. "I'll bring it back."
The coronavirus lockdown wiped out 20.5 million US jobs in April, destroying nearly all the positions created in the prior decade in the world's largest economy.
The unprecedented collapse in April driven by the coronavirus fallout sent the unemployment rate to 14.7%, well beyond the peak hit in late 2009 during the global financial crisis.
And job losses in March were worse than initially reported, falling 870,000 even though the business closures mostly happened in the second half of the month.
The plunge in nonfarm payroll employment was the largest ever recorded since 1939, while the jobless rate was the highest and the biggest increase since 1948, the report said.
Employment fell sharply in all major industry sectors, with particularly heavy job losses in leisure and hospitality, the first sector hit and the one bearing the brunt of the impact of the lockdowns.