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U.S. unemployment UP, to 9.4% in May

The Employment Situation Summary released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday (June 5) stated that “Nonfarm payroll employment fell by 345,000 in May, about half the average monthly decline for the prior 6 months…,” although the unemployment rate continued to rise, from 8.9% in April to 9.4% in May. There were “continued steep job losses 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, to 14.5 million. Since the recession started in December of 2007, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 7.0 million, and the unemployment rate has increased by 4.5%.

In May, unemployment rates rose for adult men (9.8%), adult women (7.5%), whites (8.6%), and Hispanics (12.7%). Jobless rates for teenagers (22.7%) and blacks (14.9%) were little changed in May.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 268,000 in May to 3.9 million. This group has TRIPLED in size since the start of the recession. The number of persons working part time for economic reasons (sometimes called “involuntary part-time workers”) was little changed in May, at 9.1 million. The number of such workers has increased by 4.4 million during the recession.

About 2.2 million persons (not seasonally adjusted) were “marginally attached” to the labor force in May, up 794,000 from a year ago. These people wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the previous 12 months, but were not counted as unemployed because they had not looked for work in the 4 weeks prior to the survey. Among the marginally attached were 792,000 “discouraged” workers in May, up 392,000 from a year ago. Discouraged workers are persons who are not currently looking for work because they believe that no jobs are available for them.

As bad as these numbers are, I believe that the California numbers later this month will still be worse than the U.S. numbers.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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