Unemployment increases to 8.2 percent

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The number of jobless Americans changed little in May and the nation’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 8.2 percent, the Labor Department said today.

U.S. employers added just 69,000 jobs in May, the government said, and 12.7 million people remained unemployed. The job creation figure was the lowest in a year and the increase in the jobless rate was the first in 11 months.

Employment increased in health care, transportation and warehousing, and wholesale trade in May, but declined in construction, the government said. Employment was little changed in most other major industries.

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

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

In May, 2.4 million people were marginally attached to the labor force, up from 2.2 million a year earlier. Those people were not in the labor force, but they 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 four weeks preceding the survey.

Click here for the release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and click here for a USA Today story about the report.

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