May 2020 Employment Report

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The numbers analyzed

In May 2020, Miami-Dade County unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) was 11.3 percent. The County had a reduction of 122,800 nonagricultural payroll jobs (not seasonally adjusted), from May 2019 to May 2020 which was a 10.1 percentage decrease. However, from April 2020 to May 2020, there was an increase of 26,500 nonagricultural payroll jobs, signaling modest movement towards economic recovery.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, there has been a sharp decline in payroll jobs throughout most industries when comparing May 2019 with May 2020. The sectors most affected are Leisure & Hospitality (-54,700), Retail Trade (-18,700), Professional & Business Services (-15,800), Education & Health Services (-13,900), Manufacturing (-6,100) and Other Services (-6,100). The most stable sectors in the past 12 months are Information (-100), Financial Activities (-200), and Total Government (-1,500). The graph below shows the payroll data since May 2018.

The change in payroll job between April 2020 and May 2020 show that several sectors have begun adding jobs, including in sectors that were the hardest hit during the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. Leisure & Hospitality (+11,500), Other Services (+4,300), Construction (+3,800) and Professional & Business Services (+3,000).

SectorMay 2019- May 2020April 2020 – May 2020
Information-100 (-0.5%)+100 (+0.5%)
Financial Activities-200 (-0.2%)-100 (-0.1%)
Total Government-1,500 (-1.0%)-800 (-0.6%)
Construction+1,600 (+3.0%)+3,800 (+7.5%)
Wholesale Trade-2,700 (-3.6%)+1,600 (+2.3%)
Transportation, Warehousing, & Utilities-4,700 (-5.7%)0 (0.0%)
Other Services-6,100 (-12.2%)+4,300 (+10.8%)
Manufacturing -6,100 (-14.4%)0 (0.0%)
Education & Health Services-13,900 (-7.2%)+2,400 (+1.4%)
Professional & Business Services-15,800 (-8.7%)+3,000 (+1.8%)
Retail Trade-18,700 (-13.1%)+700 (+0.6%)
Leisure and Hospitality-54,700 (-37.3%)+11,500 (+14.3%)

The unemployment rate of 11.3 percent compared to last year was 8.9 percentage points higher than the unemployment rate at 2.4 percent in May 2019. Compared to April 2020 there was an 0.5 percentage point decrease from the unemployment rate at 11.8 percent. Below the graph compares the unemployment rate for Miami-Dade County with that of the United States since May 2018. It shows that Miami-Dade County was tracking the unemployment rate of the United States at a slightly higher rate until November 2018. For the last nineteen months the United States had a higher unemployment rate than Miami-Dade County.

In May 2020, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Miami-Dade County (taking seasonal fluctuations in the labor force into consideration) was 10.8 percent, which is 8.3 percentage points higher than in May 2019.

 May 2020
Unemployment Rate
(Not Seasonally Adjusted)
May 2019 to

May 2020
Unemployment Rate Change
(Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Miami-Dade County11.3%+8.9%
Palm Beach County14.1%+11.0%
Broward County16.0%+13.0%
United States13.0%+9.6%

From the data and analysis above, we saw a sharp deterioration in the local economy for the month of April 2020 due to the global impact of COVID-19, however in the month of May 2020 there was modest movement towards economic recovery. Nevertheless, the community needs to remain focused on job-retention projects in targeted industries, as well as all sectors. These industries have been identified as the Miami-Dade County industries most able to create additional well-paying job opportunities, leading to an improved quality of life for Miami-Dade County residents. The Miami-Dade Beacon Council continues to aggressively work on attracting new companies to our community and work on the expansion and retention of existing business. For more information, visit

The job creation numbers are derived from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment Statistics Program (CES), and only account for non-farm payroll jobs. However, the unemployment rates are derived from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program (LAUS), which includes farm payroll jobs as well as self-employed workers. Payroll and unemployment information provided in this report considers data revisions by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) which occurred in April 2020.

In addition, the federal government typically conducts interviews in sample households to determine the unemployment rate. Miami-Dade County is one of six metropolitan areas in the United States that uses a different method solely based on a statistical model derived from several data sets.