TAMPA, Fla. - The Labor Department released April 2020's unemployment statistics Friday, showing 14.7% of Americans are out of a job.
That percentage adds up to 20.5 million Americans who filed for unemployment just in the month of April. Financial experts say the unemployment rate is the highest since the great depression.
"These figures are about as horrible as you can imagine," said Scott Brown, the Chief Economist at Raymond James. “This is all happening just within a month or two and typically in a severe recession, it happens over many months so this is a very sharp shock to the economic system.”
Scott says jobs in hospitality industries like restaurants, hotels, and airlines, saw the most immediate affects when the pandemic began.
The 97-store buffet-style restaurant chain Sweet Tomatoes announced it was closing for good because the self-serve business has no place in a post-COVID-19 world, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
“Once we started seeing the weekly jobless claims numbers going up, for economists that was really a gut-wrenching thing," Scott said. "We’ve seen numbers just unimaginable; you wouldn’t have been able to even think of these kinds of job losses that we’re seeing and how rapidly they’re coming.”
Scott says he expects steady job growth when the pandemic ends.