The U.S. economy added 559,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent, the Labor Department said in its monthly labor assessment Friday.
The median forecast of analysts surveyed by Econoday was for 650,000 jobs and an unemployment rate of 5.9 percent. The Dow Jones consensus estimate was for 617,000.
The disappointing number follows April’s big miss. This adds evidence to the claim that hiring is being held back by enhanced unemployment benefits and schools that have not reopened full time, requiring some parents to stay home to take care of children. Many businesses say that they cannot hire enough workers to fill positions because of the government’s enhanced unemployment benefits program.
The economy has outperformed expectations on many metrics this year as vaccinations have boosted business and consumer confidence and restrictions on businesses have been lifted. The April and May employment numbers represent a