BALTIMORE (AP) — U.S. employers laid-off 7.7 million workers in April — a sign of how deep the economic hole is as offices, restaurants, stores and schools are re-opening after being shuttered because of the coronavirus.
The Labor Department also said in a Tuesday report that job openings plummeted and hiring all but disappeared in April. The number of available jobs fell 16% from March to 5 million. Hires declined 31% to 3.5 million.
The grim April — which followed an bleaker March with 11.5 million layoffs — suggests that the economy could take time to recover nearly a decade’s worth of gains that vanished in two months. Hiring did rebound in May as 2.5 million jobs were added on net, the government said Friday. But those gains appeared to reflect temporarily laid-off employees returning to work and increases in people with part-time jobs, rather than an economy at full throttle.