Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The April jobs report comes tomorrow. It will be almost incomprehensibly grim.

Why it matters: The report will tell us a lot of what we don't know about the coronavirus-ravaged job market: how widespread the job losses are by industry and demographic, how many layoffs are temporary, and whether worker pay has been cut.

The headline number will be the unemployment rate, which is expected to hit 16%. The best estimate for peak unemployment during the Great Depression is that the number hit 25%.

  • In two months, the rate will have more than quadrupled.
  • 22 million net jobs are expected to have been lost during the Labor Department's survey period, which ended in mid-April.

Of note: You're only counted as unemployed if you're actively looking for work. But because of state-imposed lockdowns, many Americans aren't looking for work.

  • Broader measures of joblessnesslike the U6 — may paint a more useful, and even bleaker, picture.

The bottom line: Economists warn the key figures from the report may understate the devastation of job losses.

  • The report "wasn't designed for a pandemic, and it is unclear how well it will capture all the unusual nuances that the current crisis presents," as the New York Times points out.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Aug 12, 2020 - Economy & Business

U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits

Hundreds of unemployed Kentucky residents wait in long lines outside the Kentucky Career Center for help with their unemployment claims on June 19, 2020, in Frankfort. Photo: John Sommers II/Getty Images

Congress' failure to renew enhanced unemployment measures at the end of July is already showing up in consumer spending patterns, holding down retail purchases and foot traffic, economists at Deutsche Bank say.

What happened: The reduced spending aligns with the expiration of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefits, which provided an additional $600 per week to qualifying unemployed individuals.

Senate to vote on Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation on Oct. 26

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the Capitol on Oct. 20. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Senate will vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court next Monday, Oct. 26, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Tuesday.

The big picture: The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote this Thursday to advance Barrett's nomination to the full Senate floor. Democrats have acknowledged that there's nothing procedurally that they can do to stop Barrett's confirmation, which will take place just one week out from Election Day.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.