WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. economy added just 54,000 jobs in May, leaving the unemployment rate at 9.1 percent.
Analysts had expected higher job growth figures, following gains that averaged 220,000 in the prior three months. The reduced pace of job growth raises concerns about the overall health of the economy.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics counts 13.9 million Americans as unemployed; 45.1 percent have been out of work for at least 27 weeks. There are another 8.5 million involuntary part-time workers, who have seen their hours cut back because of economic conditions
Unemployment rates are higher than the national average for teens (24.2 percent), blacks (16.2 percent) and Hispanics (11.9 percent), according to statistics released today.
The private sector added 83,000 jobs in May, with gains occurring in professional and business services, health care, and mining. Local government employment continued to trend down, shedding 28,000 jobs over the last month and 446,000 jobs since an employment peak in September 2008.
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