Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 2.5 million in May, and the unemployment rate declined to 13.3%, the U.S. Department of Labor reported. The improvements in the labor market reflected a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to contain it.
In May, manufacturing employment rose by 225,000, with gains about evenly split between the durable and nondurable goods components. In April, manufacturing employment declined by 1.3 million, with about two-thirds of the loss occurring in the durable goods component. Within durable goods, employment gains in May were led by motor vehicles and parts (+28,000), fabricated metal products (+25,000), and machinery (+23,000).