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New Jobs Report Reveals Unprecedented Economic Collapse As A Result of Coronavirus Pandemic

Updated: May 22, 2020

New Jobs Report Reveals Unprecedented Economic Collapse As A Result of Coronavirus Pandemic

Senators Tillis and Burr Voted Against Additional Support for North Carolina Families in the Middle of a Crisis

Raleigh, N.C. — Piedmont Rising Executive Director Casey Wilkinson released the following statement as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy shed more than 20.5 million jobs in April, sending the unemployment rate soaring to 14.7 percent, making it the worst month for the economy since the Great Depression:

“North Carolinians are struggling in this crisis, but Senators Tillis and Burr have done little to help. Tillis has routinely restricted access to unemployment benefits, both as House Speaker and most recently as a U.S. Senator, when both he and Senator Burr blocked North Carolinians from expanded unemployment benefits during this unprecedented time. Now Tillis wants to let North Carolina go bankrupt, which would only cause more job losses. While many elected officials in our state are leading and putting people ahead of politics, Senators Tillis and Burr are failing to get the job done when we need them most.”


  • The unemployment rate rose to 14.7%, the highest it’s been since the Great Depression.

  • 23.1 million people are unemployed, and the economy lost 20.5 million jobs in the past month.

  • With the lowest payroll employment total since 2011, a decade of jobs gains have been wiped out in one month.

  • The number of people employed part-time for economic reasons, or “involuntary part-time workers,” nearly doubled over the month to 10.9 million.

  • Tillis’ history of restricting unemployment benefits dates back to his time as the Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives when he fought to reduce eligibility and “touted the benefit reductions.

  • Tillis and Burr voted last month against an expansion of unemployment benefits for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

  • More than 1 million North Carolinians have filed for unemployment since mid-March.

  • It’s been 71 days since the Trump Administration said we’d soon have zero cases in the U.S. We now have 1,292,000 cases and 76,900 deaths - more deaths than any other country in the world.

Media Contact:

Jessica Coscia


About Piedmont Rising Piedmont Rising is a 501 (c)4 issue advocacy organization built by and for North Carolinians to advocate for lower insurance premiums and prescription drug costs and to ensure that more people have access to safe and affordable health care. Through grassroots organizing, education, and engagement, we are amplifying our health care stories and holding our elected officials accountable to the people, and issues they were elected to represent.

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