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Jobless Claims Shrink To A Pandemic Low

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty

The U.S. added 559,000 jobs in May which was below the forecast of 671,000, according to official statistics released Friday.

A steady decline in unemployment that dropped from to 5.8% from 6.1%, and during a time when employers are experiencing a staffing shortage. The overall size of the labor force actually dwindled from the start of the year. A negative for economists expecting to see a boom going into the summer months.

However, hiring picked up in May as business constraints were loosened for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. A mixed result for the Biden administration who’ve helped to add two millions jobs since February, but have still struggle to normalize the workforce back to pre-pandemic levels.

The hospitality sector was hit hardest by COVID with nearly 300K restaurant and bar staff jobs coming back on the books last month. A surge in the education field was fueled by the return of in-person instruction in many states across the country. While the slowest gains were found in transportation and warehousing with a combined 23,000 jobs.

So far, the U.S. has recovered 14.7 million, or 65%, of the 22.4 million jobs lost last March, according the report by the labor department.

A step toward growth, but still a lot of progress yet to be made in the coming months. As of Friday, Forty-two percent of the U.S. population was fully vaccinated, opening up the possibility for life to return back to normal with lesser restrictions ahead of the Fourth of July.

Oxford Economics expect the economy to add one million jobs a month over the summer and a record eight million overall to close out 2021. By those numbers unemployment will fall below 4% by the end of the year.