The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced on June 5 that nonfarm payroll employment rose by 2.5 million in May, and the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3%. These labor market developments were largely unexpected, as many economists had been forecasting a continuation of the negative trends seen in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia issued the following statement following the publication of this employment data. “Today’s report shows much higher job creation and lower unemployment than expected, reflecting that the re-opening of the economy in May was earlier, and more robust, than projected. Millions of Americans are still out of work, and the Department remains focused on bringing Americans safely back to work and helping States deliver unemployment benefits to those who need them. However, it appears the worst of the coronavirus’s impact on the nation’s job markets is behind us.”