U.S. Sheds 701,000 Jobs
This ended a record job streak that began under Obama
A record-long streak of U.S. job growth ended suddenly in March after nearly a decade as employers cut 701,000 jobs because of the COVID-19 outbreak that's all but shut down the U.S. economy. The unemployment rate jumped to 4.4 percent from a 50-year low of 3.5 percent.
Last month's actual job loss was likely even larger because the government surveyed employers before the heaviest layoffs hit in the past two week. Nearly 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in the last two weeks of March, far exceeding the figure for any corresponding period on record.
Virus-induced shutdowns have forced widespread layoffs throughout the economy, from hotels, restaurants and movie theaters to auto factories, department stores and administrative offices.
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