In One Chart: There are fewer private-sector jobs today than in April 2001

Payroll-services provider ADP reported Wednesday that private-sector employment dropped by a mind-blowing 20.2 million in April. It’s hard to even fathom what that number means. It’s like thinking about the number of atoms in the Milky Way, or the number of times “Baby Shark” has been viewed. It’s inconceivable.

This chart puts the job losses into a little perspective. It shows that the number of private-sector jobs has fallen below what it was 19 years ago in April 2001, when ADP first began releasing its national employment report.

After decades of slow and steady ups and downs, employment fell off a cliff in April. A whole generation of job growth was lost in the blink of an eye.

Rex Nutting writes the Money & Power column for MarketWatch. He’s been covering economics and politics for 25 years.

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