Yes, you read that headline correctly. The economic downturn of 2008 and 2009 is often referred to as “the Great Recession” because the U.S. had not experienced economic pain of that magnitude since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Millions of Americans lost their jobs, mortgage defaults soared and Wall Street was shaken to the core. But as bad as things were during the last recession, things are even worse now. To say that what we are witnessing is “unprecedented” doesn’t do it justice, because what is happening to the U.S. economy in 2020 is truly, truly horrifying, and many believe that what we have experienced so far is just the beginning.
ADP has been tracking private payrolls in the United States for many, many years, and each month their payroll report is watched very carefully by economists.
Prior to this year, the worst month in the history of the ADP report was in February 2009 when 834,665 jobs were shed from U.S. private payrolls. Needless to say, that old record just got completely shattered…
Private payrolls hemorrhaged more than 20 million jobs in April as companies sliced workers amid a coronavirus-induced shutdown that took most of the U.S. economy offline, according to a report Wednesday from ADP.
In all, the decline totaled 20,236,000 — easily the worst loss in the survey’s history going back to 2002 but not as bad as the 22 million that economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting. The previous record was 834,665 in February 2009 amid the financial crisis and accompanying Great Recession.
So what this means is that the number of private payroll jobs lost in the United States last month was more than 24 times greater than the previous all-time record.