You’ve likely already seen the April jobs report… and it’s not good.
In case you haven’t, the Labor Department’s monthly report states that the country has shredded 20.5 million jobs, and unemployment is now bordering on 15 percent nationwide. Keep in mind that during the Great Recession, unemployment peaked at 10 percent. During the Great Depression, nearly a quarter of all working Americans were without a job. It’s not a good report, as April is surely the month that American businesses felt the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and various stay at home orders that mandated certain businesses to shutter.
But while the April report isn’t great, there’s a great deal of optimism about the country’s ability to bounce back over the next several months. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why:
America is Soon to be Getting Back to Work
The data suggests that the most job losses are among hourly workers, likely in the service industry. And as restaurants, salons, bars and other entertainment venues put reopening plans in place, they’ll obviously be calling back laid off or furloughed workers, or hiring new workers to staff their operations. Any staffing is likely to begin cautiously at first, but then ramp up as needed over time. When you take into consideration that about 15 million Americans work in the restaurant service industry, you can see how significant the return to work can be on jobs and unemployment.
Unemployment Benefits Deadline
Another reason why the unemployment rate is likely so high right now is because many Americans are more content to be out of work than they are at work or looking for work. The Congress-passed CARES Act gives out-of-work Americans during the pandemic unemployment benefits “on steroids,” and as these additional benefits are set to expire until the end of July, many Americans might be biding their time in the hopes that their former employer calls them back before then. Americans can stay on unemployment beyond July, however their benefits won’t be as good as they are now without an extension.
Jobs are Out There
The top 100 employers are currently looking to fill about 650,000 positions. And while this doesn’t offset the 20 million jobs that were lost in April, it’s indicative of there still being opportunity out there to be had. In total, certain recruitment websites show that there are about 4.5 million open jobs right now. As the big picture becomes more clear in the wake of this pandemic, more Americans are going to be applying for them.
The Worst is Believed to be Over
Perhaps the most significant reason behind optimism for a strong rebound in the near-term is that many experts believe we’ve already hit rock bottom. And when you bottom out, the only way left to go is up. There will certainly be ebbs and flows along America’s path to economic recovery, but if we’ve indeed bottomed out, then things can’t get worse than what they already are.