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Great Depression-Like Jobless Rate Seen for U.S.: Eco Week Ahead

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Chinatown Businesses Take Hit Amid Pandemic
Photographer: Nina Westervelt/Bloomberg

The devastation of the coronavirus pandemic on the U.S. labor market will be on display this week, with Friday’s jobs report likely to show the unemployment rate soared to nearly 20% and employers cut millions more from their payrolls in May.

The Labor Department’s data may mark the worst of the fallout from the disease as states have started to lift the shutdown orders that brought demand and the economy to a standstill. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey calls for the jobless rate to rise to 19.6%, the highest since the Great Depression era of the 1930s. Payrolls probably declined by almost 8 million after a whopping 20.5 million slump in April.