With the economy paralyzed by business closures, the unemployment rate likely jumped to high rates.
Many people still employed have had their hours reduced. Others have suffered pay cuts. Some who’ve lost jobs won’t have been able to look for work amid widespread shutdowns and won’t even be counted as unemployed. A broader measure — the proportion of adults with jobs — could plunge to a record low.
Moreover, many laid-off workers may be discouraged from looking for a new job given that so many non-essential businesses are closed.
Others may stay home to protect their health. Still others may feel they have to stay with children who are home from school.
In addition, some workers on temporary layoff might be incorrectly classified as what the government calls “employed, but absent from work.” This can happen if employees assume they will return to their jobs once their employer reopens.
Companies are still cutting jobs in the midst of a severe downturn, with the economy possibly shrinking at a sharp annual rate in the April-June quarter.