- The coronavirus crisis is likely to result in layoffs on a scale that the U.S. has never seen before.
- Economists expect April to be the first reporting month when the damage starts to show up.
- Forecasts for that month range from 500,000 to 5 million.
- The worst month during the financial crisis saw nonfarm payrolls decrease by 800,000.
- Weekly jobless claims numbers are expected to be so bad that the White House has reportedly asked state officials to delay releasing precise counts.
When the damage the coronavirus inflicts on the U.S. jobs market becomes clearer, it could be unlike anything the country has ever seen.
Judging by numerous forecasts from economists, the avalanche of furloughs will easily break the record for most in a single month.
Upcoming weekly jobless claims will shatter the standards set even during the worst points of the financial crisis and the early-1980s recession, with Bank of America forecasting a total of 3 million when the number is released Thursday. Those figures are expected to be so bad, in fact, that the Trump administration, according to several media reports, has asked state officials to delay releasing precise counts.
While the headline unemployment rate is highly unlikely to approach the 24.9% during the Great Depression, it very well could be the highest in almost 40 years, something unthinkable for a jobs market that had been on fire as recently as February.