May 8, 2020

April 2020 Jobs Report

Unemployment Rate: 14.7 percent

Jobs Created: -20.5 million

Employment and Unemployment

The Department of Labor bases monthly jobs reports on a survey of businesses and a survey of households. The survey data relate to the pay period or calendar week containing the 12th day of the month. The report generally will not reflect labor market changes near the end of the month.

In April, amid stay-at-home orders in more than 40 states, nonessential businesses closed or had to operate under significant restrictions, affecting the jobs of millions of Americans. Late in the month, some areas began allowing certain businesses to reopen, however, restrictions and safety measures remain in place.

DOL reported the unemployment rate rose 10.3 percentage points to 14.7% in April.

Nonfarm jobs decreased by 20.5 million in April.

The department revised the change in nonfarm jobs for February and March down by a combined 214,000 jobs. 

The U-6 unemployment rate, a measure that also includes part-time and discouraged workers, rose 14.1 percentage points to 22.8% in April.

Labor Force Participation

The labor force participation rate, the share of people employed or looking for work, fell 2.5 percentage points to 60.2%.


In April, average hourly earnings for all employees in private nonfarm jobs increased by $1.34 to $30.01, largely due to many lower-paid workers losing their jobs.

Issue Tags: COVID-19, Labor