— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on April 24, 2020, Friday.
There are several points to note about the latest US employment data, first, more than 26m new claims have been made in the past five weeks, meaning that all the jobs created in the past 11 years have been wiped out.
Second, the number of initial unemployment claims is still high but shows a declining trend, which is a positive signal.
Some believe that the worst is over for the American job market. However, we cannot ignore that the labor institutions are facing a lack of manpower during outbreak, and the challenge of processing capacity after the surge in applications is obvious, so there is still a question mark over whether the data really reflect the state of American employment.
Currently, the labor department's so-called insured unemployment rate, which measures the number of people who have successfully filed and received unemployment benefits, is 11%. That's the highest level on record. Paul Ashworth, chief economist of Capital Economic said at that rate the overall unemployment rate should reach 23%, which would be the highest in 87 years since 1933.
However, most economists expect the official unemployment rate to be between 10% and 15% in April. The U.S. government, which recently added nearly $500 billion to its small-business bailout fund to help the job market, is now focused on getting the unemployed back to work.
Eugene Scalia, US Secretary of Labor
the 4.4 million today, Kelly it is a very difficult number, it is a very high number and of course this is a short term, we are very focused on reopening as the president is and bring employees back to work and keep them safe once they are there.
While the strongest impact on employment has been concentrated in the service sector, the relatively resistant US technology sector has not been completely immune.
U.S. tech hiring fell 20 percent between mid-March and mid-April, according to industry data from Glassdoor. Hardware Internet finance and start-up companies are the most stressed. Some of the companies that have cut back on hiring are familiar names, such as Dell and Intel. The tech giant Google also plans to halve its marketing budget for the second half of the year and has warned of a possible hiring freeze, according to CNBC's internal doc.
Recruiting experts told the Wall Street journal that the relative lack of open positions at startups during the outbreak has created opportunities for big tech companies to snap up top talent.
Some relatively well-performing and cash-rich tech companies, such as Amazon and PayPal, are still ramping up hiring, and earlier this month Facebook said it would add 10,000 jobs this year.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO
So, our hiring is keeping in a very very aggressive clip, we feel fortunate to be able to do that, we actually have responsibility to do that, to keep our own employees while hopefully hire more, because we need them.
The technology sector accounts for about 10 percent of the U.S. economy, the slowdown in hiring in the sector is a new warning light on the U.S. economy. But because there has been a relative shortage of talent in the technology sector, hiring is expected to rebound quickly once the economy recovers from the outbreak. We will keep an eye on this issue.