SEVERE WX : Flash Flood Watch View Alerts

Devastating job losses: Here's who got hit the hardest

April was the worst month for jobs since the Great Depression. The unemployment rate rose to 14.7%, the highest on record since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began its monthly series in 1948.

Posted: May 8, 2020 2:40 PM
Updated: May 8, 2020 2:40 PM

The coronavirus pandemic wiped out years of job gains for black and Hispanic workers over the span of two months and sent the unemployment rate skyrocketing to record highs for nearly all major worker groups.

The unemployment rate for black Americans soared to 16.7% in April, nearly triple the rate in February and the highest since early 2010, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Friday. Hispanic workers' jobless rate hit a record 18.9%, up from 4.4% two months earlier.

Before the outbreak hit, black and Hispanic unemployment rates had fallen to record lows.

Now, black and Hispanic workers are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus-spurred job losses, particularly because they are more likely to be in lower-wage jobs and less likely to be able to work from home.

"This recession is particularly hard on minorities and women given their representation in the industries that are hardest hit, everything from leisure and hospitality, retail and health care," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton.

White workers saw their unemployment rate jump to a record 14.2%, more than four times higher than February. Asian Americans saw a record 14.5% unemployment rate-—nearly six times greater than it was two months ago.

Adult women's unemployment rate quintupled in April to 15.5%, while the rate for adult men nearly tripled to 13%. And the teen unemployment rate more than tripled between February and April to nearly 32%. All three were record highs.

The pandemic has devastated the American jobs landscape. Most major industries shed millions of positions.

Nearly half of restaurant and hospitality workers lost their jobs last month as the coronavirus sparked sweeping closures and curtailments of eating and drinking establishments and hotels.

Employment in leisure and hospitality plummeted by 7.7 million, or 47%. Nearly three-quarters of the decline took place in food services and drinking places, but jobs were also lost in arts, entertainment, recreation and accommodation.

Retailers shed 2.1 million positions. Especially hard-hit were clothing and accessories stores, which lost 740,000 jobs.

Health care was not immune to the destruction, even as the pandemic drove many ill Americans to seek care at hospitals. The sector lost 1.4 million jobs, particularly in dentist and doctor offices -- whose patients stayed home amid fears of catching or spreading the coronavirus. More than 500,000 dental jobs vanished last month.

Some 97% of dental offices nationwide were closed for routine care in late April, and 87% reduced some or all of their staffs, said Marko Vujicic, chief economist at the American Dental Association. Many are now reopening, but patient volume is only a little more than a quarter of what it was before the pandemic.

Professional and business services shed 2.1 million jobs, with temporary help services getting hit hard. And manufacturing employment dropped by 1.3 million.

One bright spot: Warehouse clubs and supercenters gained 93,000 jobs.

Although states are beginning to reopen, economists say it will take time for businesses to resume operations -— and some may never return.

"The reality is you need to have an economy that's strong enough to bring them back," Swonk said. "In a world where it's very difficult, there is no 'Field of Dreams' moment where you build it or open it and they will come."

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2537823

Reported Deaths: 56270
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings33533010862
Queens31620210308
Suffolk2406933616
Nassau2150853300
Bronx2081546756
New York1687034643
Westchester1439382344
Erie1073581959
Richmond893051939
Monroe851201189
Orange57824920
Rockland53317779
Onondaga52624765
Dutchess35811500
Albany31130390
Oneida28916592
Broome24801409
Niagara24280398
Saratoga20545205
Ulster17373280
Schenectady16970229
Rensselaer15006170
Chautauqua12556175
Putnam1255098
Oswego11868115
Chemung11069158
St. Lawrence10742128
Steuben10304174
Ontario9467111
Jefferson903578
Cayuga8745107
Sullivan854183
Wayne830685
Cattaraugus7863118
Genesee7120132
Herkimer6890129
Clinton683740
Tompkins658059
Fulton6465104
Madison6288102
Montgomery6063143
Livingston581171
Warren559484
Cortland541380
Tioga519472
Columbia5053111
Chenango474688
Allegany471598
Washington471468
Otsego462655
Wyoming443458
Greene442587
Orleans441089
Franklin436422
Lewis365338
Delaware360348
Seneca276763
Essex237533
Schoharie233723
Yates167728
Schuyler155817
Hamilton4393
Unassigned14123
Out of NY0319
Utica
Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 51°
Oneonta
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 54°
Herkimer
Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 51°
Old Forge
Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 51°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Game Day Deals - New Deals Each Week
Chapter Aesthetic October Giveaway
Cool To Be Kind 2021
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve