The Employment Situation – May 2020

Published 6:06 pm Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 2.5 million nationwide in May and the unemployment rate declined to 13.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported June 5, 2020.

These improvements in the labor market reflected a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to contain it. In May, employment rose sharply in leisure and hospitality, construction, education and health services and retail trade. By contrast, employment in government continued to decline sharply.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

The unemployment rate declined by 1.4 percentage points to 13.3 percent in May, and the number of unemployed persons fell by 2.1 million to 21.0 million.

The number of unemployed persons who were on temporary layoff decreased by 2.7 million in May to 15.3 million, following a sharp increase of 16.2 million in April. Among those not on temporary layoff, the number of permanent job losers continued to rise, increasing by 295,000 in May to 2.3 million.

The labor force participation rate increased by 0.6 percentage point in May to 60.8 percent, following a decrease of 2.5 percentage points in April. Total employment, as measured by the household survey, rose by 3.8 million in May to 137.2 million, following a large decline in April. After an 8.7 percentage point decline in April, the employment-population ratio rose by 1.5 percentage points to 52.8 percent in May.



Dare COVID-19 update provides some additional details on active cases

Ferry and Coast Guard crews assist three when sailboat flips near Ocracoke