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U.S. Gains 2.5 Million Jobs in May—What’s Next?

U.S. Gains 2.5 Million Jobs in May—What’s Next?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced a surprising number on June 5, 2020: the labor market had added 2.5 million jobs during the month of May. The increase in employment—and subsequent decrease in unemployment, which fell from 14.7% in April to 13.3% in May—shows promising signs for employers. But what’s next? 


Limited Resumption of Economic Activity

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the decline in unemployment rate and increase in total nonfarm payroll employment show signs of “a limited resumption of economic activity” that had largely been curtailed in March and April by measures taken to limit the spread of the coronavirus. 

This is particularly shocking because economists anticipated a decrease of 7.5 million jobs in May. In April, the U.S. tabulated a record 20.5 million jobs lost. 

The data was collected from two monthly surveys: the household survey and the establishment survey. The former measures labor force participation by demographic, including unemployment, while the latter addresses “nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings by industry.”


What Does this Mean for My Business?

Well, it depends. 

The statistics revealed that May employment numbers “rose sharply” in the leisure and hospitality industry, as well as education and health services, construction, and retail trade. Manufacturing also saw increases in the durable and nondurable goods specialties. 

On the other hand, government employment declined sharply once again, with local governments hit especially hard. But, if you find yourself in a position to begin hiring once again, consider reviewing remote onboarding best practices for new employees. 

Regardless, the increases offer a promising glimpse into the state of the U.S. economy after two months of grim news.


What's Next?

As States and metropolitan areas continue to reopen amid the pandemic, there may be reason to believe that coronavirus infection rates could increase. We recommend staying abreast of your local government’s reopening efforts, as well as employment and labor news, including compliance and other regulations. 

Additionally, if you’re considering reopening your workplace during COVID-19, review recent CDC guidelines and our Return-to-Work Readiness checklist

The next Employment Situation will be announced on Thursday, July 2, 2020.

COVID-19 Return to Work Readiness Checklist

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