The April jobs report showed the unemployment rate skyrocketed to 14.7%, the worst job losses since post-World War II era records, as coronavirus restrictions shuttered businesses for the month and put millions out of work. State officials are now attempting to thread the needle between reopening parts of the economy and preventing a resurgence of the virus. As states with the most ambitious reopening plans like Georgia and Texas move forward, epidemiologists around the country are eagerly studying the data for signs of consequences. However, it could take weeks for the decisions to be evident in the data as the virus spreads among asymptomatic carriers.
While the virus appears to be decelerating in some of the nation’s first hot spots like New York, New Jersey and the Detroit-metro area, it is gaining speed elsewhere.
This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks.
- Global cases: More than 3.8 million
- Global deaths: At least 269,881
- U.S. cases: More than 1.2 million
- U.S. deaths: At least 75,670
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
8:43 am: Unemployment rate jumps to 14.7% as a record 20.5 million jobs were lost in April
The U.S. labor market in April dropped to historic levels as 20.5 million workers were slashed from nonfarm payrolls, sending the unemployment rate skyrocketing to 14.7%, according to the Labor Department. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting payrolls to shed 21.5 million and the unemployment rate to go to 16%.
April’s unemployment rate topped the post-war record 10.8% but was short of the Great Depression high estimated at 24.9%. The financial crisis peak was 10% in October 2009.
Read the full report on the U.S. labor market from CNBC’s Jeff Cox. —Melodie Warner
8:10 am: Hot spots of new cases spread in Southeast states
7:31 am: WHO calls for more research into role of Wuhan market
This photo taken on April 15, 2020 shows venders wearing face masks as the offer prawns for sale at the Wuhan Baishazhou Market in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province. HECTOR RETAMAL | AFP via Getty Images
The seafood market in Wuhan, China, played a role in the outbreak, but more research is needed to determine whether it’s the source of the virus or was an “amplifying setting,” the World Health Organization said, according to Reuters.
WHO officials previously said the coronavirus emerged from a seafood market in Wuhan and likely originated in bats, then jumped to an “intermediate host” before infecting humans. Scientists continue to run tests on various animals but have so far not found the host responsible for the outbreak.
“The market played a role in the event, that’s clear. But what role [was] we don’t know, whether it was the source or amplifying setting or just a coincidence that some cases were detected in and around that market,” said Dr. Peter Ben Embarek, a WHO expert on food safety and zoonotic viruses, Reuters reported.
The WHO is in talks with China to send a follow-up mission to the country to investigate the animal source of the virus, a WHO official said Wednesday. —Will Feuer
7:03 am: Indonesia eases travel bans earlier than planned
Indonesian mural artist Bayu Rahardian poses in front of his artwork amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in Depok on April 16, 2020.
Adek Berry | AFP | Getty Images
Indonesia is easing bans on domestic air and sea travel earlier than planned, according to Reuters.
The country two weeks ago put in place bans on certain domestic travel with the intention to keep restrictions in place until the end of May. The government has lifted those restrictions for Indonesians who work in security, defense and health services; those who have emergency health reasons; and migrant workers returning home, Reuters reported.
Travelers must have tested negative for Covid-19 and have a letter from their employer. —Sara Salinas
Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: Spain reports uptick in daily deaths; Australia plans reopening in 3 stages