Heading into the release of Friday's jobs report, economists expected millions more job losses and an unemployment rate at or even above 20%, per the AP. Not even close. Employers actually added 2.5 million jobs in the month, and the unemployment rate dropped from 14.7% to 13.3%, reports the Wall Street Journal. The turnaround marks the biggest monthly gain in jobs since at least 1939, per CNBC, which uses the word "stunningly" to describe the rise in employment. It notes the only month that has seen more than a million jobs added was September 1983, with 1.1 million new jobs. Dow futures were surging on the news, with the index on track to jump 700 points at the open. President Trump is trumpeting the news as "AMAZING" and plans a morning news conference.
“These improvements in the labor market reflected a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it,” said the Labor Department in a new release. More than half of the increase in jobs were in the leisure and hospitality fields, notes CNBC. More than 1 million of those workers returned to their jobs, in contrast to the 7.5 million who lost their jobs in April. Bar and restaurant workers also returned in droves. (More unemployment stories.)