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Seattle’s iconic Pike Place market stands nearly deserted. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

The U.S. unemployment rate soared to a record 14.7% in April according to the Department of Labor. It’s the highest jobless rate since the Great Depression and worst monthly job loss on record, AP reports. Though the entire economy is feeling the pain of pandemic shutdowns, the tech industry faired better than other fields.

  • Leisure and hospitality saw the steepest job losses at 7.7 million, a 47% drop. The information sector, covering the technology and other industries, faired better. Some 254,000 Americans lost their jobs in the information sector, driven largely by the entertainment industry, according to the Labor Department.
  • Technology jobs in Washington state were among the least affected, according to a Seattle Times report that tracks losses by profession. Just 1-2% of software developers in Washington filed unemployment claims in April, compared to 100% of bartenders in the state.
  • Despite the unemployment numbers, not all technology companies are resilient to the crisis. More than 380 tech startups have cut more than 44,000 jobs since March 11 as they curb expenses and try to survive amid the economic downturn. Larger stalwarts such as Yelp, LyftAirbnb, and Uber are also cutting thousands of roles. But some tech companies are taking advantage of the “flipped labor market” and actively hiring.
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