The U.S. Labor
Department announced on Friday that nonfarm payrolls rose by 2,509,000 in May after
an upwardly revised 20,687,000 plunge in the prior month (originally a tumble
of 20,537,000), reflecting a limited resumption of economic activity that had
been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus pandemic and efforts
to contain it.
According to the report, employment rose sharply in leisure and hospitality (+1.2 million jobs), construction (+464,000), education and health services (+424,000), and retail trade (368,000). By contrast, employment in government (-585,000) continued to decline sharply.
The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May from a record level of 14.7 percent in April.
Economists had forecast the nonfarm payrolls to fall by 8,000,000 and the jobless rate to surge to 19.8 percent.
The labor force participation rate increased by 0.6 percentage point in May to 60.8 percent, while hourly earnings for private-sector workers fell 1.0 percent m-o-m (or $0.29) to $29.75, following an unrevised 4.7 percent m-o-m gain in April. Economists had forecast a 1.0 percent m-o-m advance in the average hourly earnings. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 6.7 percent, following a revised 8.0 percent rise in April (originally an increase of 7.9 percent).
The average workweek increased by 0.5 hour to 34.7 hours in May, exceeding economists' forecast for 34.3 hours.
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