In today's Labor Department report, nonfarm payrolls in the US fell by 49,000 in May, much less than the 60,000 job losses expected. In contrast, the unemployment rate surged by half a percentage point, to 5.5%, much more than expected. That is the largest increase in the unemployment rate in 22 years. Economists were expecting a 5.1% jobless rate.
Job losses were concentrated in construction, manufacturing, and retail. Construction jobs fell by 34,000, while factory jobs declined by 26,000. Retail positions contracted by 27,000.
Health care added 34,000 jobs, while the government added 17,000. Year to date, the economy has lost 324,000 jobs.
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