Last month's unemployment report was a bust. The new one for May is twice as strong, though still shy of expectations. The Labor Department reported Friday that employers added 559,000 jobs last month, below expectations of about 670,000, reports CNBC. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell to 5.8% from 6.1%. The May total is up from the revised figure of 278,000 new jobs in April. In the bigger picture, employment is still down by about 8 million jobs from levels before the pandemic—and roughly 10 million people are without a job and potentially looking, notes the Wall Street Journal.
At the same time, roughly half of small-business owners responding to a national survey reported trouble finding people to fill open positions, which the AP sees as a sign that the economy is recovering faster than expected. "We think it will take several months for frictions in the labor market to work themselves out," economist Michael Gapen of Barclays tells the Journal. "That just means we shouldn’t be expecting one to two million jobs every month. Instead, it will be a more gradual process." (Read more jobs report stories.)