The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has just released the monthly employment report for April 2020. In the report it shows that the United States has skyrocketed from 4.4 percent to a whopping 14.7 percent. The United States, one of the most heavily hit countries, has lost 20.5 million jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left millions taking pay cuts or losing their jobs entirely.
The report shows how deep the pandemic has cut into the collapsing labor markets. In February, the unemployment rate was at a 50 year low of 3.5 percent. The Bureau of Labor also reported a total of 3.8 million had claimed unemployment benefits for the first time during the last week of April. The total number of first-time unemployment claims to a total of 30.3 million, roughly 18.6 percent of the countries work-force. Rising unemployment rates is a weight that will drastically destroy consumer spending, which according to the Department of Commerce, personal consumption expenditures had dropped 7.5% in March as well as Personal incomes falling 2 percent.
The future is uncertain with a looming food shortage, with Food Banks reporting up to a 40 percent sudden increase in demand due to unemployment. Staple foods such as rice and grain, which typically imported to the United States, are in short supply suddenly due to demand and shipping restrictions on other nations. Imports aren’t the only thing being affected; the domestic supply chain of food that makes it to the local grocery store has also taken a bit hit. Meat shortages are on the horizon, attributing to the closing of Smithfield Foods pork processing is only the start. With fears of COVID-19 spreading through the United States, it is highly likely that the nation’s food processing facilities will soon be closing.