US added 559,000 jobs in May; unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent

After a disappointing April jobs report, the US added 559,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate ticked down to 5.8 percent from 6.1 percent, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The latest numbers show the US economy “is grinding into high gear, as widespread vaccinations allow for the reopening of businesses across all sectors. Half of Americans are now fully vaccinated, and confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States have fallen to levels not seen since March 2020, according to an NBC News analysis.”

“The mood has changed,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate. “The economy has healed as a rising share of the U.S. population has been vaccinated, fostering the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, which leads to more spending on both goods and services.

However, US businesses still face worker shortages as some workers struggle with childcare and fears of contracting the virus. Shortages in the supply chain have also caused issues with production and increase in prices “for products ranging from computer chips to lumber, wheat, and chicken wings.”

According to the Washington Post:

The country still has more than seven million less people employed than it did in February 2020, and needs to regain those jobs at an accelerated rate to make a full recovery by sometime next year.

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