2020-05-08 —

If millions of Americans who have been furloughed and expect to return to their jobs are counted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the jobless rate would have almost 5 percentage points higher at nearly 20%.


Although the April employment report paints an ugly portrait of the U.S. labor market, the devastation runs even deeper than the official statistics show.

For one thing, some of the people who are still getting paid by their companies but aren't working probably were not included in the jobless rate. Others have stopped looking for work and dropped out of the labor force because there are no jobs. They would not be counted in the official jobless rate, either. And with many companies closed or going out of business, the response rate to the government's survey was lower than usual.

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