In a surprise, the U.S added 2.5 million jobs in May and the unemployment dropped to 13.3 percent as businesses begin to reopen after coronavirus-related closures, according to data released by the Labor Department on Friday.
The numbers shattered economist expectations that there would be another steep rise in joblessness.
The May jobs report showed one of the largest one-month spikes in hiring in U.S. history after the country lost 20.7 million jobs in April that sent the unemployment rate plummeting to 14.7 percent, according to the Labor Department.
Economists widely expected the U.S. to lose anywhere from 2-8 million jobs in May as businesses slowly began to reopen and Americans still practiced social distancing strategies meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The U.S. economy instead brought a net of 2.5 million Americans back to work, driven largely by a 2.7 million-decline in the number of people reporting temporary layoffs. Even so, the number of people who permanently lost their jobs rose by 295,000 workers in May.