• The US Bureau of Labour Statistics on Friday said US employers added 2.5 million payrolls in May, a shocking figure that defied economist expectations for 7.5 million jobs lost.
  • The US unemployment rate declined to 13.3% in May, bucking forecasts expecting a near-record 19% reading.
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Economists were shocked on Friday as US employers added 2.5 million payrolls in May, defying expectations for 7.5 million jobs lost. The surprise increase comes on the heels of the 20.5 jobs lost in April, which was a record.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate declined to 13.3%, bucking forecasts expecting a near-record 19%. The prior month's 14.7% reading was the highest since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The May report shows that the US economy may already be past the peak of devastation the coronavirus pandemic caused. At the end of the month, all 50 states had relaxed at least some of their lockdown restrictions, even as the US death rate for COVID-19 surpassed 100,000 people.

Many sectors posted job gains in May after steep losses in April. Employment and hospitality added 1.2 million jobs after losing 7.5 million in April, with employment in food services and drinking places making up most of the gains.

Education and health services, retail trade, and other services industries also saw jobs added in May after losing jobs in the previous month.

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