Employers added a "not great, not terrible" 559,000 jobs in May, slightly disappointing expectations while also signaling that hiring is picking back up as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Unemployment dropped to 5.8 percent, down from 6.3 percent in January.
Economists had expected May's job report to show 677,000 jobs gained. The report follows April's shocking job numbers, when only 266,000 jobs were added, about 700,000 fewer than were expected; May's numbers, notably, are more than double that. The Washington Post's Heather Long explained that the economy has now regained about 67 percent of jobs lost during the pandemic, leaving about 7.4 million jobs to go.
Hourly earnings also jumped up 2 percent in May, showing a "continued combination of surprisingly strong wage growth and surprisingly weak job growth," Insider's Josh Barro observed.