DORAL, FL – The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the number of unemployed people fell by 496,000 to 9.3 million in May.
Also, the unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percent to 5.8 percent, while the total non-farm payroll employment rose by 559,000 in May.
“These measures are down considerably from their recent highs in April 2020 but remain well above their levels prior to the coronavirus pandemic (3.5 percent and 5.7 million, respectively, in February 2020),” reads the report of May’s employment situation released on June 4th.
In a population survey conducted for the report, the organization also found that in May, 7.9 million persons had been unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic, which means they did not work at all or worked fewer hours at some point in the last 4 weeks due to the pandemic. This measure is down from 9.4 million in the previous month.
About what industries behaved better, there were notable job gains in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, and in health care and social assistance with an increase of 292,000 employment in leisure and hospitality. Nearly two-thirds of the increase was in food services and drinking places.
Employment also rose in amusements, gambling, recreation (+58,000) and in accommodation (+35,000) together with the public and private education mainly because in-person classes and other school-related activities resumed in some parts of the country.
Employment rose by 53,000 in local government education, by 50,000 in state government education, and by 41,000 in private education. However, employment is down from February 2020 levels in local government education (-556,000), state government education (-244,000), and private education (-293,000).
On the other hand, health care and social assistance added 46,000 jobs in May. Employment in health care continued to trend up (+23,000), reflecting a gain in ambulatory health care services (+22,000).
Other industries that added jobs in May are social assistance, which added 23,000 jobs over the month, information that rose by 29,000 over the month, transportation and warehousing with 23,000 new jobs, wholesale trade that increased by 20,000 and manufacturing employment that rose by 23,000 in May.
Construction employment edged down in May (-20,000), reflecting a job loss in nonresidential specialty trade contractors (-17,000). Employment in construction is 225,000 lower than in February 2020.