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 U.S. Department of Labor reported today. The unemployment rate continued to rise, increasing from 8.9 to 9.4 percent. Steep job losses continued in manufacturing, while declines moderated in construction and several service-providing industries.
According to the Household Survey Data, the number of unemployed persons increased by 787,000 to 14.5 million in May, and the unemployment rate rose to 9.4 percent. 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 increased by 450 basis points.
Unemployment rates rose in May for adult men (to 9.8%), adult women (7.5%). 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.
The civilian labor force at the end of May, 2009 stood at 155,081,000 (at the end of April was 154,731,000) growing by 350,000, employment stood at 140,570,000 down from 141,007,000 the month before. The ranks of unemployed grew to 14,511,000 from 13,724,000.