The U.S. unemployment rate fell in May to 13.3% as some businesses reopened after the coronvirus lockdowns and stay at home orders were lifted.
Workers were recalled and Friday’s report indicated that the economy added 2.5 million jobs last month, driving unemployment down from 14.7% in April.
Stocks soared on the news and President Trump fired off a series of tweets in celebration, calling the numbers “stupendous,” “AMAZING” and “INCREDIBLE.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on a “misclassification error” had not occurred, the “overall unemployment rate would have been about 3 percentage points higher than reported,” resulting in an unemployment rate would be about 16.3 percent for May. But that would still be an improvement from an unemployment rate of about 19.7 percent for April, applying the same standards.
“BLS and the Census Bureau are investigating why this misclassification error continues to occur and are taking additional steps to address the issue,” said a note at the bottom of the Bureau of Labor Statistics report.
“We really need a new way to talk about recessions and recoveries in a post-Covid world,” Diane Swonk, chief economist for Grant Thornton, said in a research note. “Calling May the end of the recession really does a disservice to the more than 19 million still unemployed and the extraordinary challenges we face as the economy struggles to reopen with the rate of infection still high.”
The BLS admitted that some people who should have been classified as “temporarily unemployed” during the shutdown were instead misclassified as employed but “absent” from work for “other reasons.”
Reality is that that millions of jobs were lost, may have been permanently lost, but there are also a ton of jobs coming back and coming back quickly.