Nearly 15 percent of Americans are furloughed or out of a job—that’s roughly 23.1 million Americans. And the numbers are likely much worse now because the number of those applying for unemployment aid has risen since the data was collected, according to Realtor.com. After the worst case of national unemployment since the Great Depression, builders should not expect an off-the-charts rebound as loss of income sets many families back from their homeowner dreams. But in states that have reopened, there are glimmers of hope as their housing markets see increasing activity.
The country is experiencing its worst bout of unemployment since the Great Depression.
The coronavirus pandemic has roiled the financial markets, disrupted the global supply chain, and resulted in an unemployment rate of 14.7% in April, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As nonessential businesses have been forced to temporarily close to stem the spread of COVID-19, about 23.1 million Americans have found themselves furloughed or out of a job.
As dire as those numbers sound, the unemployment rate is likely much higher, in the range of 20% or more. That's because the BLS looked at unemployment only for the week ending April 18. At least 7 million more Americans have filed for unemployment insurance since then, according to seasonally adjusted BLS data.