The U.S. economy gained 2.5 million jobs in May, and the unemployment rate declined 13.3%, according to figures released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The improvements reflect a limited resumption of economic activity that was previously curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the May job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:
The @BLS_gov revised the numbers for March and April down, making earlier job losses even greater by 642,000. So, the gains reported for May are an inching back from a worse position than understood. @AFLCIO #JobsDay— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) June 5, 2020
A troubling sign ahead is the continued loss of jobs in local government education. Local governments are strained by the added costs from COVID and lost another 309,000 jobs in education in May. This will make reopening schools difficult. @AFTunion @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) June 5, 2020
The @BLS_gov reports Black women saw their unemployment rate edge up from 16.4 to 16.5%, but their share holding jobs also edged back to 50.0. They are the group facing the greatest difficulty with accessing unemployment benefits through May 10 according to @MinneapolisFed data pic.twitter.com/o4qgQhrJin— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) June 5, 2020
The @BLS_gov reports the bounce back from the shock in April has been widespread, most notably for the heaviest hit leisure and hospitality sector, but continued losses in transportation, mining and information (movies) @sagaftra @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/vgw4ZBbWKV— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) June 5, 2020
While the number of gains the @BLS_gov reported in May sound impressive, this puts the fall in the unemployment rate in context, given where things stood at the end of April @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/vFJj2B3pE8— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) June 5, 2020
Last month's biggest job gains were in leisure and hospitality (1.2 million), construction (464,000), education and health services (424,000), retail (368,000), other services (272,000), manufacturing (225,000), professional and business services (127,000), financial activities (33,000), and wholesale trade (21,000). The biggest job losses were in government (-585,000), information (-38,000), mining (-20,000), and transportation and warehousing (-19,000).
In May, the unemployment rates declined for Hispanics (17.6%), adult women (13.9%), whites (12.4%) and adult men (11.6%). The jobless rates for teenagers (29.9%), blacks (16.8%) and Asians (15.0%) showed little change over the month.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased in May and accounted for 5.6% of the unemployed.