The United States of America employers added 559,000 jobs in May, rebounding from April’s hiring slowdown, with unemployment rate dropping to 5.8 percent, the U.S. labor department reported on Friday.
The latest data followed upwardly revised job growth of 278,000 in April and upwardly revised increase of 785,000 in March, indicating a bumpy road in labor market recovery.
In May, job gains were notable in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, as well as health care and social assistance, according to the report released by the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 292,000, as pandemic-related restrictions continued to ease in some parts of the country, the report showed, while noting that the figure is still down by 2.5 million, or 15 percent, since February 2020.
Employment in local government education, state government education and private education increased by 53,000, 50,000 and 41,000, respectively, but is still lower than the pre-pandemic level.
Construction employment edged down by 20,000 in May, reflecting a job loss of 17,000 in nonresidential specialty trade contractors, the report showed. Employment in retail trade declined by 6,000, which is 411,000 below its pre-pandemic level.
The unemployment rate dropped by 0.3 percentage point to 5.8 percent. The measure was down considerably from its recent high in April 2020, but remained well above the pre-pandemic level of 3.5 percent.
Despite the improvement in the pandemic-ravaged labor market, some 9.3 million people remained unemployed in May, well above the pre-pandemic level of 5.7 million, according to the report.
The labor force participation rate, meanwhile, was little changed at 61.6 percent in May, which is 1.7 percentage points lower than in February 2020. Labor force participation has remained within a narrow range of 61.4 percent to 61.7 percent since June 2020, the report noted.
The monthly employment report was released one day after payroll data company Automatic Data Processing reported that private companies in the United States added 978,000 jobs in May, posting the biggest gain in 11 months.