Unemployment Rate Drops: Job Recovery Mostly In Hospitality, Construction

A surprising jobs report shows the U.S. economy beginning to rebound in May...

While economists feared the unemployment rate would rise as high as 20% in the latest report, it actually fell to 13.3%, with the economy adding 2.5 million jobs last month. But while it's a promising trend, the jobless rate is still at its highest since the Great Depression, with more than 20 million jobs lost since February.

Most of last month's surprise jobs recovery happened in the hospitality and construction industries, according to the Labor Department.

“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 pandemic and efforts to contain it,” the Labor Department said in a press release.

Of the roughly 2.5 million jobs recovered in May, about 1.2 million were in the food service and hospitality industry. Construction work accounted for about 464,000 jobs. And the health care, retail, and manufacturing industries also made strong gains in May.

The biggest job loss came in the government sector, where more than half a million jobs vanished.

"It's important to remember the labor market still faces an unemployment rate at the highest level since the Great Depression with tens of millions of Americans still out of work," said Daniel Zhao, a Glassdoor senior economist. "While the labor market may be on the path to recovery, there is still a long way to go until the labor market returns to pre-crisis levels and makes up for lost growth.”

Read more about the record job gains on CNBC News.

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