The Labor Department reported that jobs rose by 2.5 million in May, while the jobless rate fell to 13.3%, a surprising outcome given the severity of pandemic-related lockdowns on the economy and other recent less bullish measures of economic performance. The increase in May followed a loss in jobs of 20.7 million in April, which was the largest decline in records dating back to 1939. Analysts had predicted an increase in the employment rate to 19% and a decline of 7.5 million jobs in payrolls.
Even as headlines announce White House and CMS plans to reopen nursing homes, many operators are already planning for a new normal. The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, and still threatens older adults, but operators will have to find ways to protect residents and staff, facilitate social connection, and restart move-ins, likely while the virus remains at large.
The Labor Department reported that there were a nose-bleedingly high 20.5 million jobs lost in April as the COVID-19 pandemic closed much of the economy and triggered massive layoffs and furloughs of employees by U.S. businesses. This dwarfed the previous record high job loss of 1.96 million jobs in 1945 at the end of WWII and the 8.7 million jobs lost during the entire last recession. Employment is now at its lowest level since February 2011. April’s decline also marked the second monthly decline in jobs after a record 113 consecutive months of job gains.
The Department of Labor reported that 3.8 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance benefits in the week ending April 25, 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause businesses to lay off or temporarily furlough workers. This was a decline of 603,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised level of 4.4 million. The speed and scale of the job losses is unprecedented. In the past six weeks, approximately 30 million people have filed claims. By comparison, 9 million jobs were lost over the course of the 2007-2009 recession.