The unemployment rate in the United States reached 5.5 percent in May, an 0.5 percent increase from the previous month and the steepest one-month jump in two decades, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor. The economy lost 49,000 jobs in May, almost twice the number lost in April. Manufacturing lost 26,000 jobs, with 34,000 lost in construction and 39,000 lost in business and professional services. Jobs rose in the education, healthcare, government, and leisure and hospitality sectors. Industry analysts had expected the number to come in at 5.1 percent, but had predicted an overall loss of 60,000 payroll positions. According to the Labor Department, the May numbers reflected more workers losing their jobs as well as an increase in the number of people coming into the job market and failing to find work.
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