Some stunning numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning, which is reporting that the American economy added 2.5 million jobs in the month of May. The headline unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent last month, down from 14.7 percent in April,
Most of this reflects workers who were temporarily laid off returning to their jobs. The number of unemployed who were on temporary layoff fell by 2.7 million in May to 15.3 million, following an 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.
The strongest category: Employment in food services and drinking places rose by 1.4 million in May, accounting for about half of the gain in total employment. This followed steep declines in this sector in April and March, when we lost 6.1 million jobs combined. Construction employment increased by 464,000 in May, gaining back almost half of April's decline. Employment increased by 424,000 in education and health services in May, after a decrease of 2.6 million in April.