US Economy Adds Just 69,000 Jobs In May

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. economy added only 69,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate edged slightly higher to 8.2 percent, according to data reported by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics today.

The report fell short of economists’ predictions of 158,000 new jobs and well below the pace set during the first quarter when the economy added an average of 226,000 jobs per month.

May’s modest job gains came in the health care, transportation and warehousing, and wholesale trade sectors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The construction industry saw declines, while employment was little changed in most other major industries.

The civilian labor force participation rate increased in May by 0.2 percentage points to 63.8 percent, offsetting a decline of the same amount in April.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) rose from 5.1 to 5.4 million in May. These individuals accounted for 42.8 percent of the unemployed.

Hispanics (11.0 percent), blacks (13.6 percent) and teens (24.6 percent) are unemployed at greater rates than the general population.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) edged up to 8.1 million over the month. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

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