PHOENIX - Arizona’s unemployment rate doubled in April as the travel industry and other major parts of the state’s economy staggered from business shutdowns and other impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.
The state Office of Economic Opportunity on Thursday reported that seasonally adjusted nonfarm unemployment in April rate rose to 12.6%, up from 6.1% in March and 4.8% in April 2019.
The April report said the state’s economy lost 283,300 jobs, nearly all in the private sector, and nearly all industries recording job losses.
The leisure and hospitality sector led the downturn with 122,600 fewer jobs. Other sectors with the biggest job losses were trade, transportation, and utilities (57,400), education and health services (37,200), and professional and business services (29,800).
The March unemployment monthly report released April 16 covered only the downturn’s very beginning, but the April report began to tally the huge job losses that occurred as restaurants, hotels, retail shops and many other businesses either shut down or dramatically scaled back their operations.
The timing of the April report means additional job losses experienced since mid-April won’t be tallied in a monthly report until the May report is released in June.
The state Department of Economic Security is reporting new unemployment claims that extend beyond the April report released Thursday. This month alone, the department has logged more than 105,000 additional claims, meaning the unemployment rate could be above 15% now.
In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
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On CoronavirusNOW.com, you'll find extensive coverage about COVID-19, including breaking news from around the country, exclusive interviews with health officials, and informative content from a variety of public health resources.
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Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu.
Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough, and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, or heart conditions.
Right now there's one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it's not too late to get it. It won't protect you from catching the coronavirus, but may put you in a better position to fight it.
To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.
And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.