The U.S. economy added more than 550,000 jobs during the month of May, the Labor Department said in its monthly report Friday — marking the second straight month the figure did not meet expectations.
The report showed an addition of 559,000 jobs and a decline in the unemployment rate to 5.8%. Most economists projected about 675,000 new jobs.
President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak about the report during a White House news conference at 10:15 a.m. EDT.
The department said the greatest additions last month were seen in the leisure and hospitality, education and healthcare sectors.
Overall, the number of unemployed persons fell by 496,000 to 9.3 million, the report states.
“These measures are down considerably from their recent highs in April 2020 but remain well above their levels prior to the coronavirus pandemic,” the department said in its report.
Friday’s report came after a disappointing performance in April, when analysts expected about 1 million new jobs for the month. The actual figure was 266,000. In March, the economy added more than 900,000 jobs and topped expectations by close to 70,000.
The April numbers also led to debate about a nationwide worker shortage and businesses saying they can’t find enough workers.
Thursday, ADP and Moody’s Analytics said 978,000 private-sector jobs were added in May and the Labor Department said 385,000 new unemployment claims were filed last week, the first time in 14 months the jobless figure was under 400,000.
The May jobs report was expected to influence debate about the prospects for sweeping Biden’s infrastructure and family plans.
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