Employment rose by a 2.5 million in May and the jobless rate declined to 13.3%, far better than economists had been expecting.

  • Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting payrolls to drop by 8.33 million and the unemployment rate to rise to 19.5% from April’s 14.7%.
  • May’s numbers showed the U.S. may well be on the road to recovery.
  • The May gain was the biggest one-month jobs surge in U.S. history since at least 1939.
  • The jump in employment mirrored the 2.7 million decrease in workers who reported being on temporary layoff.
  • April’s numbers were revised upward by 50,000 to 20.7 million.
  • March’s total also saw a substantial revision, from 881,000 to 1.4 million.
  • Leisure and hospitality workers made up almost half the increase last month, with 1.2 million going back to work after a reported loss of 7.5 million in April.
  • Construction was the next biggest gainer with 464,000, making up for about half of April’s losses.
  • Education and health services rose by 424,000 and retail surged by 368,000 after plunging by 2.3 million a month previous.