Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy shed 701,000 jobs in March, ending a decade-long stretch of job gains, according to government data gathered before many states instituted economy-shutting measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

The big picture: It's a way bigger job loss than economists expected the report to pick up — and it still understates the unprecedented turmoil that the job market is currently facing.

  • The unemployment rate jumped to 4.4% from 3.5% — the biggest monthly increase since January 1975.

Between the lines: The economic situation has changed so drastically in recent weeks that what's typically one of the most significant economic reports is too stale to say anything new about the economy.

  • Economists estimate the unemployment rate is currently far higher, given the nearly 10 million Americans that have filed jobless claims in recent weeks.

A staggering stat: Job losses in the leisure and hospitality sector — a category that includes restaurants and bars — alone accounted for 65% of the job declines last month.

The bottom line: "We already know that the fall in employment is apocalyptic. The survey data will eventually catch up to that reality," Diane Swonk, economist at Grant Thornton, wrote this week.

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Updated 16 mins ago - Science

Isaias strengthens as it crawls toward the Carolinas

A wave crashes ashore as Tropical Storm Isaias passes through Jetty Park in Fort Pierce, Florida, on Sunday. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Isaias is expected to reach the Carolinas late Monday at "near hurricane strength," the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

The latest: Isaias was 65 miles northeast of Cape Canaveral with winds increasing to 70 mph, the NHC said in a 2 a.m. update. Storm surge warnings and hurricane watches were in effect for North and South Carolina and Rhode Island. Tropical storm watches were in effect for Florida, Long Island and Delaware.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 4,667,955 — Total deaths: 154,860 — Total recoveries: 1,468,689 — Total tests: 56,812,162Map.
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Updated 2 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: Global cases top 18 million

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

The number of novel coronavirus cases surged past 18 million globally on Sunday night, Johns Hopkins data shows.

By the numbers: More than 688,300 people have died from COVID-19 worldwide. Over 10.6 million have recovered.