With all the focus on the surge in U.S. layoffs, it’s easy to forget that there’s a silent job killer lurking in the background. Hiring freezes such as that reported by American Express Co. mean that the take-up of workers is falling rapidly. How quickly companies ramp hiring back up will be a large factor in the strength of the recovery.
The historic levels of initial unemployment claims illustrates the human consequences of a sudden stop of economic activity. Whole sectors of the economy have simultaneously shut, throwing millions out of a job. The leisure and hospitality industry along with non-food retailers have been especially hard hit.