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US Jobs Market and Recovery

October Shock in Equity Markets

The May jobs release was the biggest ever at 2.5 million as the US economy starts to recover on the back of opening. Despite grim numbers that many banks expected – Wall Street estimates had been for a decline of 8.3 million and a jobless level of 19.5%, making it the worst jobs market since the Great Depression – things turned out much better. The US economy created 2.5 million jobs in May and the unemployment rate fell to 13.3%. Looking at the areas that hired the most, leisure and hospitality represented almost half the jobs gained.

The temporary and permanent damage expected now seems to be an overstatement – jobs are coming back much faster than anticipated. The May gain was by far the biggest one-month jobs surge in US history, the best since 1939. The only month in which 1 million or more jobs were created was 1983 when payrolls reached 1.1 million. “Baring a second surge of Covid-19, the overall US economy may have turned a corner,” said Tony Bedikian, head of global markets at Citizens Bank. Note that 78% of the people who were interviewed for the jobs report felt that they had lost jobs temporarily.

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