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 1:40 PM
Updated: May 8, 2020 1:40 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."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 95659

Reported Deaths: 2056
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin26960930
Ramsey10911320
Dakota7524126
Anoka6092133
Stearns401024
Washington379955
Scott257433
Olmsted244628
Nobles197116
Blue Earth16996
Wright16327
St. Louis160241
Carver14197
Clay138940
Rice13358
Mower13285
Sherburne115014
Kandiyohi10112
Winona88718
Lyon6954
Waseca6698
Benton5523
Steele5472
Freeborn5424
Nicollet54016
Watonwan5284
Crow Wing51618
Todd4952
Chisago4941
McLeod4882
Le Sueur4674
Otter Tail4414
Beltrami4215
Martin40810
Goodhue3659
Itasca32814
Pine3280
Douglas3102
Polk3054
Isanti2971
Becker2802
Carlton2701
Morrison2492
Dodge2390
Cottonwood2250
Pipestone22510
Chippewa2141
Meeker2022
Wabasha1960
Sibley1923
Brown1912
Yellow Medicine1822
Cass1804
Rock1730
Unassigned17052
Redwood1673
Mille Lacs1643
Murray1642
Renville1518
Jackson1481
Faribault1450
Swift1381
Houston1280
Kanabec1258
Roseau1230
Koochiching1223
Fillmore1200
Pennington1191
Lincoln1110
Hubbard1031
Stevens1031
Pope940
Big Stone820
Aitkin801
Wadena690
Wilkin653
Grant614
Lake590
Lac qui Parle581
Norman540
Marshall521
Mahnomen481
Red Lake451
Traverse310
Clearwater270
Lake of the Woods221
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 85533

Reported Deaths: 1305
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15872262
Woodbury544764
Johnson512627
Black Hawk448990
Linn4010111
Story344417
Dubuque325741
Scott301128
Dallas278538
Pottawattamie211338
Buena Vista199112
Marshall178434
Sioux16183
Wapello133357
Webster125514
Plymouth114121
Clinton112121
Muscatine110855
Crawford10885
Cerro Gordo105721
Warren9566
Jasper83832
Des Moines7848
Marion7637
Henry7434
Tama71331
Carroll6625
Lee6377
Wright5811
Dickinson5276
Boone5078
Bremer4927
Washington45911
Louisa42915
Mahaska41219
Delaware4023
Floyd3493
Jackson3493
Franklin34818
Winneshiek3356
Clay3264
Lyon3264
Hamilton3223
Benton3101
Winnebago30313
Hardin2991
Poweshiek2958
Buchanan2791
Jones2743
Butler2702
Kossuth2700
Shelby2671
Clarke2653
Emmet26510
Allamakee2616
Clayton2523
Chickasaw2500
Sac2500
Cherokee2492
Cedar2461
Guthrie2456
Fayette2222
Harrison2223
Grundy2203
Madison2192
Iowa2091
Palo Alto2020
Humboldt1903
Mitchell1900
Howard1886
Hancock1842
Calhoun1833
Mills1801
Page1700
Cass1682
Osceola1610
Monroe15911
Pocahontas1592
Lucas1566
Monona1531
Jefferson1381
Appanoose1363
Union1353
Taylor1301
Davis1244
Ida1221
Fremont1180
Van Buren1141
Keokuk1091
Worth1080
Greene1010
Montgomery965
Wayne862
Audubon821
Adair721
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Ringgold502
Adams330
Unassigned170
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