The coronavirus pandemic sparked one of the deepest, and strangest, downturns in employment in US history. On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the US had added another 559,000 jobs in May, and the unemployment rate had fallen to 5.8% – a dramatic drop from its 14.8% high in April last year.
Employers say they are struggling to hire workers, and yet the US is still 7.6m jobs short of where it was before Covid-19 struck. Below, in the first of a monthly series, we take a look at what lies behind the headline figures for the highly influential jobs report.
Overall unemployment in the US