U.S. Unemployment Ticks up Slightly

U.S. employers added 175,000 jobs in May, nudging unemployment up to 7.6 percent from its previous rate of 7.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

The U-6 unemployment rate, considered to be a broader measure of the actual unemployment situation in the U.S., remained virtually unchanged at 13.8 percent.

Increases were seen in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, retail trade, and health care.

“The number of unemployed persons, at 11.8 million, and the unemployment rate, at 7.6 percent, were essentially unchanged in May,” the report notes.

Here’s unemployment broken up by group:

  • Men: 7.2 Percent (previous: 7.1 percent)
  • Adult women: 6.5 percent (previous: 6.7 percent)
  • Teenagers: 24.5 percent (previous: 24.1 percent
  • Whites: 6.7 percent (unchanged)
  • Blacks: 13.5 percent(previous: 13.2 percent)
  • Hispanics: 9.1 percent (previous: 9.0 percent)
  • Asians (not seasonally adjusted): 4.3 percent (previous: 5.1 percent)

The number of people on long-term unemployment (i.e. those who have been out of work for 27 weeks or more) was unchanged at 4.4 million. This number accounts for approximately 37.3 percent of total unemployed.

“Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 1.0 million,” the report notes.

Although the civilian labor force increased in April by 420,000 to 155.7 million, the labor force participation rate remained unchanged at 63.4 percent. The number of people employed part-time held to 7.9 million.

“In May, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down from 2.4 million a year earlier,” the report reads.

“These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.”

It continues:

Among the marginally attached, there were 780,000 discouraged workers in May, little changed from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in May had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

Let’s wait and see how this news shakes out in the markets:


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