The US economy cut 701,000 jobs in March following shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with the unemployment rate rising to 4.4%, the Labor Department said.
This is the worst job loss since March 2009 and the biggest increase in the rate of unemployment in the country in the past 45 years, the department's report shows.
According to the report, the biggest losses have been registered in the leisure and hospitality sectors, as well as in retail and healthcare.
The Labor Department added, however, that it "cannot precisely quantify the effects of the pandemic on the job market in March."
The report comes after the US government said on Thursday that a record 6.6 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week.
Meanwhile, global stocks fell on Friday after the announcement of record job cuts in March. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 77 points. In Europe, the FTSE 100 in London dropped 0.9% to 5,431. The CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.8% to 4,187.