FILE PHOTO: People who lost their jobs are reflected in the door of an Arkansas Workforce Center as they wait in line to file for unemployment following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Fort Smith, Arkansas, U.S. April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Nick Oxford -/File Photo/File Photo
(Reuters) – Unemployment rates rose and total employment fell in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia in April as efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses to close across the United States, the Labor Department said on Friday.
The department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics said 43 states set record-high rates of unemployment last month, with the highest being in Nevada, the state with the greatest reliance on the hard-hit food services and hospitality industry. The rate in Nevada surged 24.2 percentage points from a year earlier to 28.2% – nearly twice April’s national unemployment rate of 14.7%.
The monthly breakdown of state-level nonfarm employment and jobless rates, published two weeks after the national payrolls report, paints a picture of widespread – but nonetheless uneven – devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The national report, issued on May 8, showed a record 20.5 million jobs were lost in April, the steepest plunge in employment since the Great Depression.
Friday’s report indicated more than a quarter of those job losses were concentrated in three of the largest U.S. states: California, which shed 2.3 million jobs; New York, which has seen the largest number of U.S. COVID-19 cases and deaths and lost 1.8 million positions; and Texas, which has suffered a double blow