The May 2011 unemployment data is in, and the news is not good. Only 54,000 new jobs were added during the month, about 100,000 less than predicted, and the unemployment rate rose slightly to 9.1 percent.

While much of the unemployment data remained relatively unchanged from April 2011, the number of individuals who have been out of work for 27 weeks rose to 6.2 million. This represents an increase of 361,000 in just the last month.

The number of marginally attached workers sits at 2.2 million persons, relatively unchanged from the same time last year. An individual is considered marginally attached when he wants to work, is available to work, has looked for a job sometime in the prior year but has not actively sought employment during the past four weeks. These 2.2 million are not included in the 13.9 million unemployed figure.

Despite the sour jobs report, May 2011 was a good month for the 54,000 workers who found a job. Job gains were seen in the following industries:

  • Accounting and bookkeeping services: +18,000
  • Health care: +17,000
  • Mining: +7,000
Job losses were seen in manufacturing (-5,000) and government (-28,000). According to the report, 446,000 local government jobs have been lost since September 2008.

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