The huge loss of jobs in one month is 25 times larger than the biggest decline in jobs during a one month period in the last recession, according to Business Insider. The speed at which the unemployment rate has ballooned is also worrying. In February, the unemployment rate was at 3.5%, which was a 50-year low.
The majority of job losses have been concentrated in a few sectors. The hospitality and leisure sector lost 7.7 million jobs and the retail sector lost 2.1 million jobs.
However, the unemployment rate does not accurately capture the true scope of unemployment in the U.S. The unemployment rate does not include individuals who are unemployed but not actively looking for work.
A different statistic, known as the U-6 reading, includes those individuals as well as people working part-time who would be working full-time if opportunities were available. The U-6 reading places the more inclusive unemployment rate at 22.8%. However, this statistic is not exhaustive in capturing all individuals who have been economically disadvantaged by the pandemic.
"But there are going to be some people that don't fall into any of the categories that will be captured by U-6, even though they're technically unemployed," Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody’s Analytics, said.