The US economy unexpectedly added jobs in May after suffering record losses in the prior month, triggering a strange claim by US President Donald Trump that he was responsible for the increase in jobs for whites, whose unemployment rate fell to 12.4% from 14.2% in April, and the rate for blacks dipped to 16.8%.

On Friday, June 5, 2020 (early June 6, 2020 in Manila), the Labor Department’s closely watched employment report showed the jobless rate falling to 13.3% last month from 14.7% in April, a post-World War  II high. More jobs were available as manufacturing and services industries reopened after shuttering in mid-March to slow the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, Lucia Mutikani reported for Reuters.

“The country has turned the corner from the pandemic and the recession it created for now, but all the workers who lost their paychecks will find it difficult to regain their place in society as many of these jobs are gone forever,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. “It took years for the economy to grow enough to find jobs for those unemployed in the last recession, and it will take years again this time to do the same.”

Even with May’s rebound, the hole is deep. Part-time workers accounted for two-fifths of the increase in employment. Payrolls are nearly 20 million below their pre-COVID-19 level. The unemployment rate has risen 9.8 percentage points and the number of unemployed is up 15.2 million since February.