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Employers Added 339,000 Jobs in May

The strong growth further assuaged fears of a recession

Employers posted a blockbuster 339,000 jobs in May in the latest sign that a booming labor market continues to prevent the country from slipping into a recession, but the economy also signaled new warning signs with an increase in the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate rose in May to 3.7 percent from 3.4 percent, one of the fastest increases since early in the pandemic, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Friday. Some 440,000 more workers reported that they are unemployed — and most of those were due to temporary jobs ending or layoffs, according to the data. Some of that increase could be driven by layoffs in the tech sector that have hit 200,000 workers this year, according to the tech layoff tracker

The weakness was fueled by a sharp rise in Black unemployment, which had reached a record low in April, and increased by nearly an entire percentage point to 5.6 percent in May.

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