The U.S. unemployment rate surged in April to 14.7%, the highest rate since January 1948, and more than three times the rate a month earlier, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The number of unemployed swelled to 23.1 million, up 45% from the number in March.
Almost two-thirds of unemployed workers in April had lost their jobs during the previous five weeks, an indication of the severe economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The biggest losses were in leisure and hospitality, which lost 7.65 million jobs. Retailers cut 2.1 million jobs and health care institutions 1.44 million due to declines in non-COVID visits and elective procedures.