The coronavirus pandemic continued to ravage the economy into April, with the U.S. unemployment rate surging to 14.7 percent, the highest it’s been since the Great Depression.

U.S. employers slashed 20.5 million jobs in April since many small businesses were unable to acquire funds that Congress had allocated to try to curb layoffs, Politico reports. The country’s job loss has pushed the economy into a recession that will surpass the Great Recession of 2007-09, marking the worst decline since the 1930s.

The new statistics arrive via a Labor Department report that surmises how stay-at-home orders have impacted the economy. It’s likely that the data downplays the injury since surveys were conducted in the second week in April. The estimated 33.5 million new unemployment claims filed over seven weeks indicate that more people are now jobless, with many self-employed workers and those who are newly eligible for unemployment excluded.

The report suggests that women and minorities, who make up a significant part of the service sector labor force, have been hit the hardest. Around 16.95 percent of women working in the labor force have been jobless since February, while about 16.7 percent of Black Americans have become unemployed.

The leisure and hospitality industry lost almost half its jobs in two months, shedding over 7.6 million jobs in April alone, 5.5 million of which were from eating and drinking establishments.

Of the people who lost their jobs, 18.1 million reported being temporarily laid off in April, while two million were permanently out of work. It’s expected that the unemployment rate will climb in May, with the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office anticipating the year’s unemployment rate will be 11.4 percent and that it will hover above 10 percent through 2021.

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