Employers shed 17,000 jobs from their payrolls and the unemployment rate was
6.1 percent in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. The jobless
rate reached its highest level in nearly nine years, according to the Associated
In April, the unemployment rate was 6.0 percent.
There were job gains in temporary help services and construction, while losses
continued in manufacturing.
Professional and business services added 48,000 jobs in May, bolstered by strong
growth in temporary help services (58,000).
Manufacturing employment decreased by 53,000, about the same as its average
monthly decline for the prior 12 months. Since July 2000, the industry has lost
2.6 million jobs, a decline of about 15 percent.
There were 9.0 million unemployed workers in May. There were 1.9 million persons
unemployed for 27 weeks or longer in May, about the same as in April. This measure
has increased by 347,000 over the past 12 months.
In May, 1.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force. These
individuals wanted and were available to work and had looked for a job sometime
in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed, however, because
they did not actively search for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. There
were 482,000 discouraged workers in May. Discouraged workers, a subset of the
marginally attached, were not currently looking for work specifically because
they believed no jobs were available for them.