2.5 Million Jobs Added In May, Unemployment Drops Down To 13.3 Percent

Unemployment applications are seen as City of Hialeah employees hand them out to people in front of the John F. Kennedy Library on April 08, 2020 in Hialeah, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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June 5, 2020 8:37 a.m.

2.5 million jobs were gained in May while unemployment dropped down to 13.3 percent, the Labor Department stated in its monthly report on Friday morning, a sign that the economic damage brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic may be slowly diminishing.

The May job gain suggests that businesses have quickly been recalling workers as states have reopened their economies.

Other evidence has also shown that the job market meltdown triggered by the coronavirus has bottomed out. The number of people applying for unemployment benefits has declined for nine straight weeks. And the total number of people receiving such aid has essentially leveled off.

The overall job cuts have widened economic disparities that have disproportionately hurt minorities and lower-educated workers. Though the unemployment rate for white Americans was 12.4% in May, it was 17.6% for Hispanics and 16.8% for African-Americans.

Even with the surprising gain in May, it may take months for all those who lost work in April and March to find jobs. Some economists forecast the rate could remain in double-digits through the November elections and into next year.

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