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Surprisingly rosy jobs report defies experts as unemployment falls to 13.3% in May

The unemployment rate in the United States dropped to 13.3% in May, according to the latest jobs report released today.

Surprisingly rosy jobs report defies experts as unemployment falls to 13.3% in May
[Photo: fauxels/Pexels]
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The unemployment rate in the United States dropped to 13.3% in May, according to the latest jobs report released today.

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Two and half million new jobs buoyed the rate, which experts had predicted would be down more than eight million.

The bit of good news comes as the country begins to rebound from some of suffering dealt by COVID-19. Large-scale business closures and shelter-in-place rules shut down parts of the national and local economies. Companies from coast to coast laid off or furloughed millions of people.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment in May jumped particularly high in the following sectors:

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  • leisure and hospitality
  • construction
  • education and health services
  • retail trade sectors

Some of those same sectors are also posting the highest number of entry-level job openings, according to a recent report from LinkedIn.

“These improvements in the labor market reflected a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it,” the Labor Department said.

The May data showed a 1.4-percentage-point drop since April, plus the number of unemployed people plummeted 2.1 million to 21 million.