May Unemployment Rate improves to 13.3%

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

Employment bounced back by 2.5 million in May after a total decrease of 22.1 Million in the months of March and April. Here is a breakdown by industry.

Leisure and Hospitality

The leisure and hospitality industry was roughly 50% of the employment increase that occurred during the month of May. After losing 8.3 million jobs in March and April, May saw the return of 1.2 million jobs. Food Service areas were the bulk of the increases for this sector while the hotel industry continued to show a loss of jobs.


Construction jobs bounced back by 464 thousand after losing 1.1 million in the months of March and April.

Education and Health Services

Healthcare jobs increased by 312 thousand after losing 1.6 Million in the months of March and April. Ambulatory services rose by 376 thousand while hospitals and nursing saw a net decrease.

Retail Trade

Construction jobs added back by 368 thousand after losing 2.4 million in the months of March and April. Auto dealers increased by 85 thousand, general merchandise stores increased by 85 thousand, clothing stores increased by 95,000 and electronics stores declined by an additional 95 thousand.


Manufacturing increased 225 thousand jobs after losing 1.4 million in the previous months.

Race and Gender

The employment issue is not being felt evenly across all demographics.

The rate was 11.6% for adult men,13.9% for adult women, 31.9% for teenagers, 12.4% for Whites, 16.8% for Blacks, 15% for Asians, and 17.6% for Hispanics. The total number of people on temporary layoff decreased to 15.3 million.

Future Trends

This is a positive step as some of the job layoffs that were due to furloughs or other temporary measures are returning. The expectation is that once the more companies go back to work we could see an even bigger rebound. We are all eagerly awaiting an end to Covid-19 and it's impact on the the economy.

Statement from Bureau of Labor Statistics"The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised down by 492,000,from -881,000 to -1.4 million, and the change for April was revised down by 150,000, from -20.5 million to -20.7 million. With these revisions, employment in March and April combined was 642,000 lower than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors. A methodological change to the establishment survey's birth-death model contributed to the revision for March. For more information, see the box note at the end of the news release.) After revisions, job losses have averaged 6.5 million per month over the past 3 months."

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