US employers have cut 701,000 jobs in March reflecting the impact of measures taken by the government to contain the spread of coronavirus, reported the Bureau of Labor Statistics on April 3. The unemployment rate has reported a jump of 0.9 per cent, taking the overall rate to 4.4 per cent from a 50-year low of 3.5 per cent. The jump of 0.9 per cent in the unemployment rate is also the largest over-the-month spike in the rate since January 1975.
According to the monthly report, employment in leisure and hospitality fell by 459,000 and a notable decline was registered in health care and social assistance, professional and business services, retail trade, and construction. Department of Labour said that they cannot “precisely quantify” the effects of the pandemic on the job market in March. However, it reiterated that the rise in unemployment can be ascribed to the effects of the pandemic and the efforts to contain it.
“It is important to keep in mind that the March survey reference periods for both surveys predated many coronavirus-related business and school closures in the second half of the month,” said the department in the report.
Unemployment has become a major concern across the world with businesses and industries hit hard by the pandemic. Movement restrictions and lockdowns have hugely impacted the demand which has forced employers to announce salary and job cuts. With Italy and Spain being the epicentre of coronavirus in Europe, members of the European Union are struggling to keep up with unemployment schemes.
On April 2, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the proposal of bloc-wide unemployment scheme to assist member countries hit by coronavirus outbreak. Von der Leyen said that the European Union can mobilise 100 billion euros to aid the strained national unemployment schemes to mitigate the effects of the recession.