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Unemployment rate increases, pace of layoffs eases

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The unemployment rate rose to 9.4 percent in May from 8.9 percent in April with employers cutting 345,000 jobs, according to The Washington Post. Although the unemployment rate is the highest in more than 25 years, the pace of layoffs slowed—May had the fewest job cuts since September 2008.

Still, 14.5 million people are unemployed in the U.S., and companies most likely will be reluctant to hire until they believe economic recovery is more stable. Since the recession began in December 2007, 6 million jobs have been lost.

In May, construction companies cut 59,000 jobs, which is down from 108,000 in April, and factories cut 156,000 jobs after cutting 154,000 in April. Additionally, retailers cut 17,500 jobs, the financial sector cut 30,000 jobs and the government cut 7,000 jobs. Industries such as education, health care, and leisure and hospitality added jobs in May.

There were fewer job losses in March and April than previously reported, with 652,000 job losses instead of 699,000 in March and 504,000 job losses instead of 539,000 in April.


6/9/2009

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