May unemployment numbers indicate promise of recovery

The jobless rate in the U.S. fell in May to 13.3% — down from 14.7% just a month earlier — and 2.5 million jobs were added, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of people applying for unemployment benefits has declined for nine straight weeks and the total number of people receiving such aid has essentially leveled off, indicating effects from COVID-19 are declining. However, the overall job cuts have widened economic disparities that have disproportionately hurt minorities and lower-educated workers.

The unemployment rate for white Americans was 12.4% in May, while it was 17.6% for Hispanics and 16.8% for African Americans.