Unemployment rate falls to 13.3% in May

Andrew Cummings
June 5, 2020

"Now we're opening, and we're opening with a bang".

President Donald Trump on Friday sent a tweet taking credit for a stunning U.S.jobs report that showed the country's unemployment rate dropped during the thick of the coronavirus pandemic, and then announced he would hold a news conference at 10 a.m. on the topic.

President Donald Trump is expected to speak about the latest US unemployment numbers at the White House June 5 ahead of a trip to Maine.

"These improvements in the labor market reflected a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it", William W. Beach, Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics said in a statement (pdf).

The unemployment rate dropped from 14.7% in April to 13.3% in May, much better than the projected 19.5% unemployment projected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones.

However, as it has for the past two months, the Labor Department said the jobless rate was likely three points higher due to errors in how workers described their job status.

These attitudes were reinforced by payroll data released on Wednesday, which showed signs of stabilization in the domestic labor market after the ADP National Employment Report said private employers laid off another 2.76 million workers, fewer than an expected 9 million job losses.

"We've been talking about a V. This is a rocket ship", he said.

Government saw the biggest shedding of jobs (585,000).

While around half of the jobs were secured in leisure and hospitality, employment was also up in construction, education, and health services.

The gains came despite downward revisions to March and April that subtracted another 690,000 jobs.

The data also reflect the time before the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police sparked nationwide protests over racial injustice, along with looting in some cities.

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