facebook linkedin twitter

Unemployment Rate Falls to 13.3%, Economy Adds 2.5 Million Jobs in May

June 5, 2020 by Dan McCue
A sign "Now Hiring" rests in a window as a man walks out of the Corner Market, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Lyndhurst, Ohio. The state says about 1.3 million Ohioans have filed unemployment claims in the past 10 weeks as Ohio's stay-at-home order depressed the economy and led to widespread layoffs. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says about 42,000 people filed claims for the week ending May 23. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

WASHINGTON – U.S. employers added 2.5 million jobs in May as businesses began to reopen following months of closures ordered at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic. The uptick in hiring dropped the unemployment rate to 13.3%, the Labor Department said Friday.

Many economists had predicted a loss of an additional eight million jobs in May and an unemployment rate of 19% or higher.

The unexpected job gain suggests that businesses have quickly been recalling workers as states have reopened their economies.

Other indicators show that the job market meltdown triggered by the coronavirus has bottomed out.

The number of people applying for unemployment benefits has declined for nine straight weeks. And the total number of people receiving such aid has essentially leveled off.

The overall job cuts have widened economic disparities that have disproportionately hurt minorities and lower-educated workers.

Though the unemployment rate for white Americans was 12.4% May, it was 17.6% for Hispanics and 16.8% for African-Americans, the department said

Even with the surprising gains in May, it may take months for all those who lost work in March and April to find jobs. Some economists forecast the rate could remain in double-digits through the November elections and into next year.

The increase in employment was across most industries, with the most notable exception being the government. The number of jobs in government dropped by 585,000 in May after a 963,000 drop in April. The decline in tax revenue in state and local governments is forcing them to shed workers.

Gordon Gray, of the American Action Network, a nonprofit, conservative issue advocacy group based in Washington, said the disparity between Friday’s numbers and expectations is largely due to the bottom of the pandemic-caused slowdown having occurred somewhat  sooner than expected.

Gray noted that average hourly earnings fell by 29 cents, but still reflecting a substantial gain – 6.95 percent for the year. “Average hourly earnings for production and non-supervisory workers declined by 14 cents for a 6.93 percent gain over the year,” in an email. “These substantial increases continue to reflect the compositional effects of the substantial loss of lower-paid workers.”

 The Conference Board, a think tank based in New York, said based on Friday’s figures, the number of jobs is likely to sharply grow further in the next 2-3 months as states continue to relax social distancing restrictions. 

“The big question is how willing consumers will be to spend on consumption categories that pose a contagion risk,” the think tank said. “They will probably spend less on categories that both pose a high contagion risk and could more easily be avoided for a while, such as entertainment and flights. A full recovery in employment is unlikely to occur in the next 12 months.”

Employment

US Unemployment Claims Rise After Hitting Pandemic Low

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits moved up last week to 332,000 from a pandemic low,... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits moved up last week to 332,000 from a pandemic low, a sign that worsening COVID infections may have slightly increased layoffs. Applications for jobless aid rose from 312,000 the week before, the Labor Department said Thursday.... Read More

September 15, 2021
by TWN
Biden Touts Job Creation, Climate at National Renewable Energy Laboratory

GOLDEN, Colo. -- “Yes, we face a crisis, but we face a crisis with an unprecedented opportunity to create good... Read More

GOLDEN, Colo. -- “Yes, we face a crisis, but we face a crisis with an unprecedented opportunity to create good jobs of the future, to create industries of the future, to win the future, to save the planet.” That was the message President Joe Biden delivered... Read More

September 8, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
The Impact of COVID-19 on Construction Workers

The results of a recent survey from the Associated General Contractors of America and Autodesk underscore how the coronavirus pandemic... Read More

The results of a recent survey from the Associated General Contractors of America and Autodesk underscore how the coronavirus pandemic has created constraints on the demand for work even as it limits the number of workers available to hire. AGC and Autodesk conducted the workforce survey... Read More

Jobless Americans Will Have Few Options as Benefits Expire

NEW YORK (AP) — Millions of jobless Americans lost their unemployment benefits on Monday, leaving only a handful of economic... Read More

NEW YORK (AP) — Millions of jobless Americans lost their unemployment benefits on Monday, leaving only a handful of economic support programs for those who are still being hit financially by the year-and-a-half-old coronavirus pandemic. Two critical programs expired on Monday. One provided jobless aid to... Read More

September 3, 2021
by Victoria Turner
Delta Variant Concerns Affecting U.S. Employment Situation

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. employment grew by 235,000 jobs and the unemployment rate declined to 5.2% in August, but that... Read More

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. employment grew by 235,000 jobs and the unemployment rate declined to 5.2% in August, but that 0.2% decrease still leaves 8.4 million Americans unemployed. The 235,000 growth spurt highlighted in the Labor Department’s August Employment Situation Summary is far less than the... Read More

September 2, 2021
by Dan McCue
Unemployment Claims Reach Pandemic Low

WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to a pandemic low 340,000, a sign the... Read More

WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to a pandemic low 340,000, a sign the economy continues to improve, the Labor Department said Thursday. The number of claims declined by 14,000, as vaccinations for COVID-19 have encouraged businesses to reopen or... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top