By mid-March, US job market has been being heavily crushed by COVID-19 crisis, figures released by the U.S. Labor Department showed on Friday.
U.S. companies laid off - 701,000 positions in March, pushing the unemployment rate up almost a full percentage point to 4.4%. The figure represents the largest monthly job losses since March 2009.
leisure and hospitality accounted for almost two-thirds of the job losses, concentrated in food services and drinking places. Other industries that shed jobs significantly included healthcare and social assistance, professional and business services, retail trade, and construction
The full-month unemployment rate could be even worse, since the recent data reflects developments up to March 21 - before states began implementing non-essential shutdowns of business .
On Thursday, it was revealed that the initial jobless claims in the US was 6.6 million in the week ended March 28, which is almost double the new claims made just a week earlier.