Jobs on the rise as economy begins to reopen

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The biggest monthly jobs increase in history was recorded in May as the US economy began slowly reopening and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total number of nonfarm payroll employment skyrocketed last month, rising by 2.5 million. The national rate of unemployment decreased to 16.3 percent for May, illustrating that Americans are getting back to work.

Leisure and hospitality represented nearly half of the jobs gained, with construction, education, health services, and retail trade among the other rapidly rising employment sectors, according to the Bureau.

According to CNBC, economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting payrolls to drop by 8.33 million and the unemployment rate to rise to 19.5 percent from 14.7 percent in April. Fortunately, those economists missed the mark, as the levels projected would have been the worst figures since the Great Depression.

“These numbers certainly are encouraging,” said Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ashli Watts, “but we still have a way to go to get our workforce back to where it was at the beginning of 2020. I am hopeful that the worst is behind us, but businesses have to still be diligent in following guidelines to avoid surges in coronavirus cases as we continue this forward momentum.”

The stock market also continued a sharp upward trajectory following the Bureau’s report, up more than 850 points as of 2:15 p.m. ET Friday.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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