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Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy shed a record 20.5 million jobs in April as the unemployment rate skyrocketed to 14.7% — more than quadrupling from the rate seen before the coronavirus outbreak — according to government data released Friday.

Why it matters: It's by far the worst jobs report in history, highlighting the depth of the unprecedented toll the pandemic is having on the labor market.

By the numbers: Not since the Great Depression has the unemployment rate been this high.

  • The speed with which the job destruction happened is also staggering: the unemployment rate jumped 10.3% in a single month, which has never happened before in history.

Between the lines: You’re only counted as unemployed if you’re actively looking for work, but many Americans aren’t looking for work because of state-imposed lockdowns — effectively warping the rate.

  • Another 9.9 million people were jobless, but not counted as unemployed because they weren't actively looking for work.
  • Labor Department officials also said if certain jobless workers were considered unemployed rather than "absent from work," then the unemployment rate "would have been almost five percentage points higher," per the release.

What to watch: The job market recovery hinges on employers welcoming workers back to work once lockdown restrictions ease.

  • Of the 20.5 million jobs lost: 18.1 million unemployed workers said their layoff was temporary, while 2 million said they were permanent job losers.
  • Yes, but: There's no guarantee that temporarily laid off workers will return to work, particularly as businesses shutter from economic pressure or operate at a lower capacity.

What they're saying: "This has to be the most heartbreaking day in the history of the job market," Austan Goolsbee, former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration, told CNBC.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Aug 15, 2020 - Health

Arizona teachers' strike over coronavirus concerns cancels class

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A school district near Phoenix, Arizona, said it will not reopen on Aug. 17 as planned because too many teachers have refused to show up over health and safety concerns.

By the numbers: More than 100 of the approximately 250 teachers who work for the district said they would be absent on Monday, a district spokesperson told AZCentral on Friday.

Why learning pods aren't a panacea for remote learning

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Pandemic learning pods — also called microschools or co-ops — are popular options for parents looking to fill in the academic and social gaps for children who will be learning virtually come fall.

How it works: Across the country, groups of parents are pooling resources to hire a teacher, tutor or child care professional to preside over a small cohort of students, direct their studies and provide general supervision so parents can work.