The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its May jobs report this morning, showing that despite 2.7 million people losing their jobs in May, 2.5 million got back in work, and the unemployment rate dropped 2.4% to 13.3%:
The surprising data comes amid the phased reopening of businesses across the country after months of economic pain from the coronavirus pandemic, which pushed up unemployment to Great Depression-era levels and obliterated all job gains since the Great Recession.
Congress is currently considering another $3 trillion infusion into the economy that would extend various federal aid programs, including the $600 additional unemployment benefit that expires next month.
"The prospect of unemployment benefit enhancements ending may encourage more individuals to return to work," Moody's wrote in an investor note on Friday. "There is a risk, however, that as the PPP stimulus measures run their course, unless they are renewed or economic momentum has gained significant steam, the pace of rehiring will slow or could even reverse."
Still, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic will be felt for a decade and wipe almost $8 trillion off the nation's economic growth, the Congressional Budget Office said on Monday. The agency also projected that economic output would plunge by almost $16 trillion over the 2020–2030 period.
Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman was surprised as well, and made it clear he believes the BLS figures:
This is good news. It means we're coming out of the storm, though slowly. Of course, states opening up businesses and restaurants prematurely may have caused the change in direction for new Covid-19 infection numbers...and the protests may not have helped either...