Nonfarm payroll employment fell by 345,000 in May, about half the average monthly decline for the prior 6 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor reported recently. The unemployment rate continued to rise, increasing from 8.9% to 9.4%. Steep job losses continued in manufacturing, while declines moderated in construction and several service-providing industries.
The number of unemployed persons increased by 787,000 to 14.5 million in May, and the unemployment rate rose to 9.4%. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons has risen by 7.0 million and the unemployment rate has grown by 4.5 percentage points.
Unemployment rates rose in May for adult men (9.8%), adult women (7.5%), whites (8.6%), and Hispanics (12.7%). The jobless rates for teenagers (22.7%) and blacks (14.9%) were little changed over the month. The unemployment rate for Asians was 6.7% in May, not seasonally adjusted, up from 3.8% a year earlier.
Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs rose by 732,000 in May to 9.5 million. This group has increased by 5.8 million since the start of the recession.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 268,000 over the month to 3.9 million and has tripled since the start of the recession.