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U.S. job growth picks up in May; unemployment rate falls to 5.8%

U.S. employers boosted hiring in May as the easing pandemic, helped by vaccinations, pulled more people back into the labor force, offering assurance that the economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 recession remained on track.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 559,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said in its closely watched employment report on Friday (June 4).

Data for April was revised slightly higher to show payrolls rising by 278,000 jobs instead of 266,000 as previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 650,000 jobs created in May.

The unemployment rate fell to 5.8% from 6.1% in April.

Jonathan Mendes, who works at a restaurant near Times Square, aid there is not enough workers.

“We get paid for one (job), but we have to clean, we have to serve, we have to clean the bar, make drinks,” Mendes said. “Believe or not, we have to take the garbage and put it out. So now I cannot say I’m a server because I’m doing… Everybody is doing everything. That’s the situation rights now.”

The jobless rate has been understated by people misclassifying themselves as being “employed but absent from work.”

(Production: Aleksandra Michalska)

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