The US economy added 559,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate fell to 5.8%, the Labor Department reported on Friday, in a context in which the massive vaccination against virus allowed reopening and hiring in the companies.
Although last month’s job creation was weaker than expected, the monthly report shows a recovery from the massive layoffs caused by the pandemic, with the number of persistent unemployed falling from 431,000 to 3.8 million; figure that is still high.
Against February 2020, when the pandemic had not yet impacted the world’s leading economy, there are 7.6 million fewer jobs, according to the report.
The sectors that were most severely damaged by trade restrictions to stop the virus made up most of the advance last month: entertainment and hospitality added 292,000 jobs, two-thirds of them in businesses such as bars and restaurants.
Lodgings added 35,000 positions, and entertainment, gaming and recreation companies added 58,000.
However, this sector still has 2.5 million fewer jobs compared to February 2020, according to the report.
As for wages, average hourly wages rose 15 cents to $ 30.33, after a 21-cent increase in April, which the Labor Department attributed to companies’ efforts to attract unemployed workers back to the job market. market.
“Data from the last two months suggest that the growing demand for labor associated with the recovery from the pandemic may have put upward pressure on wages,” the official report notes, although it adds that job interruptions caused by the pandemic “complicate analysis” of wage trends.
The Labor Department also revised job creation slightly up in previous months. Thus, new hires in March stood at 785,000, and April rose to 278,000, a net increase of 27,000 for the two months.
With information from AFP