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Report: Economy adds 390,000 jobs in May, beats Wall Street predictions

A now hiring banner is seen outside a UPS building in Los Angeles on January 27, 2021. A Labor Department report on Friday said May employment beat predictions by Dow Jones economists. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/99496a6ed9b84689fd631158740a9ff7/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
A now hiring banner is seen outside a UPS building in Los Angeles on January 27, 2021. A Labor Department report on Friday said May employment beat predictions by Dow Jones economists. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

June 3 (UPI) -- Led by gains in leisure and hospitality, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 390,000 in May, off from last year's figures, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday.

In May, the Labor Department said the economy added almost 430,000 jobs during the month of April exceeding most economists' expectations then. Despite the slowdown, the figure still beat estimates by economists from Dow Jones, which estimated that 328,000 were created last month.

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The government report follows ADP and Moody Analytics National Employment Report this week that said the economy created 128,000 payroll jobs in May.

President Joe Biden sought to use the report to ease the mind of Americans on inflation woes during public comments late Friday morning.

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"I know even with today's good news a lot of Americans remain anxious," Biden said. "There's no denying that high prices of gasoline and food are a real problem for people. But there is every reason for the American people to feel confident that we'll meet these challenges."

Biden said that 8.7 million jobs have been created under his administration with more people entering the labor market, putting the United States in a stronger position to overcome inflation woes in the coming months.

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"Because of the enormous progress we have made on the economy, Americans can tackle inflation from the position of strength," Biden said. "Today, thanks to the economic plan that my administration put into action, America has achieved the most robust recovery in modern history."

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Leisure and hospitality employment increased by 84,000 in May, sparked by hiring growth in food services and drinking establishments, which gained 46,000 hires. Accommodation hiring grew by 21,000. The professional and business services sector created 75,000 in May.

Hiring increases were also seen in transportation and warehousing (47,000) and construction (36,000).

The economy saw an employment decline in retail trade of 61,000, but it was still 159,000 jobs above the February 2020 pre-pandemic level.

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Within the sector, general merchandise saw 33,000 fewer jobs followed by clothing and clothing accessories stores at 9,000 fewer jobs, food and beverage stores at 8,000 fewer jobs, building material and garden supply stores at 7,000 fewer jobs, and health and personal care stores at 5,000 fewer jobs.

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