The May jobs report showed a surprising rise in the number of U.S. non-farm payrolls in the economy and a drop in the U.S. unemployment rate from April, averting what economists expected would be a rise in the jobless rate to the highest level since the Great Depression amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Labor Department released the May jobs report Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Here were the main results from the report, compared to Bloomberg consensus data:
• Change in non-farm payrolls: +2.509 million vs. -7.5 million expected and -20.687 million in April
• Unemployment rate: 13.3% vs. 19.0% expected and 14.7% in April
• Average hourly earnings month on month: -1.0% vs. +1.0% expected and +4.7% in April
• Average hourly earnings year on year: +6.7% vs. +8.5% expected and +8.0% in April
Friday’s jobs report also included an unexpected improvement in the unemployment rate to 13.3%, after hitting the highest level in BLS monthly survey history in April at 14.7%. Most economists expected the jobless rate would climb further to nearly 20% in May, reflecting those still unemployed amid ongoing virus-related business disruptions. The monthly unemployment rate was estimated to have been about 25% at the peak of the Great Depression in 1933.
MacDailyNews Take: +2.509 million vs. -7.5 million jobs added with the U.S. unemployment rate coming in at 13.3% vs. the expected 19.0% certainly qualifies as “surprising” and what welcome surprises they are!