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Jobless Numbers
Take a Surprising Turn

May finishes with a surprising jobs report that gives reason to be optimistic about a labor market recovery. See the details below, including a look at data from the three largest state economies.

By the numbers

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Jobless claims were lower than expected, catching even economists off guard (though not without controversy), and raising hopes of an economic turnaround. But there’s still plenty to be cautious about...

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+2.5 Million

Jobs added in May

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50 States

At least partially reopened


Dow up +1262 points
(+5.2%) in May

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90% of employers expect
to re-hire laid off workers


+1.9 Million

Filed for unemployment benefits in the last week in May

Labor department
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+1.3 Million

The food and beverage sector brought back nearly +1.4 million jobs

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19 million still unemployed – more than double the job losses of the Great Recession of 2008-2009

*Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Salary.com, Labor Department, BLS, CNN Business

Jobless initial
claims by week

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(March - May)

Jobless initial claims chart.

In the news

Heart icon for 700 thousand new jobs.

April 27th

BLS projects that construction companies will grow a full 10% in the next decade, faster than the average of all other occupations, adding over 700k new jobs.

Instacart logo.

May 8th

Instacart starts hiring for 250k new full-service shopper positions, in addition to a recent hiring round of 300k in previous weeks.

Kroger logo.

May 17th

Kroger expects to make another 30k hires to keep up with demand in the essential grocery industry.

Home Depot logo.

May 24th

Home improvement cashes in on people being home, with Home Depot and Lowe’s both reporting gains of over 50% YoY – and looking to hire by the thousands.

Amazon logo.

May 28th

Amazon announces plans to offer permanent roles to as many as 70% of the 175,000 new US workers it hired to meet surging demand during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Papa Johns logo.

June 4th

Papa John’s stock soars 70% in value as franchises continue to ramp up hiring to satisfy housebound people who are tired of cooking.

Heart icon for 424 thousand new jobs.

June 5th

Education and health services jobs rise by 424k, and retail surges by 368k, per the monthly BLS report. Additional growth sectors are also shown below.

Employer &
job seeker activity

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We took a look at the 3 biggest states by GDP. Talroo’s data showed some of the strongest activity was for lightly-skilled jobs, which were those hardest hit by the employment contraction in March and April.

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Work From

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& Logistics



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Call center icon.

Call Center

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Admin &

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Construction icon.


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Hotels and resorts icon.

Hotels &

State legend.
Employer job posting activity chart.


Talroo’s data shows a healthy increase in job posting activity by employers in these lightly-skilled industries, which hit bottom in the latter half of April.

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Job search activity chart.


Job searches on Talroo’s network were slightly down, meaning fewer people were searching for these types of jobs. This is attributable to factors including employment gained in May, continued enhanced unemployment benefits, and ongoing public health concerns.

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Job seeker clicks chart.


Job seeker clicks, however, were on the rise, showing higher intent to apply for and work in these industries. Based on our job seeker insights, those searching are not window shopping – their increased activity implies they will be looking until they land their next opportunity.

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Despite a surprisingly positive BLS report for the month of May, which registered a small decline in the unemployment rate vs. the expected jump, the job market has a long way to go to rebound. But businesses in many sectors are ramping up hiring ahead of the economic recovery, and there is ample opportunity now to reach candidates with high intent.

Source: Talroo Insights Data unless otherwise noted

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