Job creation disappointed again in May, with nonfarm payrolls up a solid 559,000 but still short of lofty expectations, the Labor Department reported Friday.
Payrolls were expected to increase by 671,000, according to economists surveyed by Dow Jones.
The unemployment rate fell to 5.8% from 6.1%, which was better than the estimate of 5.9%.
May’s letdown came after April sharply undershot expectations, with the upwardly revised 278,000 still well short of the initial 1 million estimate that came with high hopes for an economy trying to shake loose its pandemic shackles.
Diminishing Covid-19 cases along with a continued brisk pace in vaccines has pushed elected leaders to relax restrictions put in place to halt the spread of the virus. The economy grew at a 6.4% pace in the first quarter and is on track to accelerate at a 10.3% pace in the second quarter, according to the latest reading from the Federal Reserve in Atlanta.
Heading into May, the U.S. economy had recovered about 14.3 million of the 22 million jobs lost in the early days of the pandemic.
The services industry took the biggest hit from the pandemic lockdowns and continued to lead the job creation in May.
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