Businesses cut 2.76 million jobs in May, survey says

People seeking employment line up outside an employment guide job fair. (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

U.S. businesses shed 2.76 million jobs in May as the economic damage from the coronavirus outbreak stretched into a third month.

The payroll company ADP reported Wednesday that businesses have let go of a combined 22.6 million jobs since March. The virus forced employers to shutter offices, factories, gyms and schools, while demand for gasoline, clothing, airline tickets, hotel rooms and restaurant meals quickly vanished.

The damage was concentrated in two sectors. Manufacturers cut 719,000 jobs in May. The trade, transportation and utilities sector let go of 826,000.

The private industry report comes two days ahead of the official monthly job figures from the U.S. Labor Department. Economists expect the Friday report will show 8 million job losses in May as the unemployment rate approaches 20%.


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