Unemployment Rate Held Steady at 9.1 Percent in May

But Black unemployment of 16.2 percent is still double that of whites

Posted: 06/03/2011 07:00 AM EDT
Filed Under unemployment

Unemployment

Job seekers Adriana Miunoz and Isha Hawkins register for jobs at the 10th annual Skid Row Career Fair held at the Los Angeles Mission downtown Los Angeles Thursday. (Photo: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the overall unemployment rate for May was essentially unchanged at 9.1 percent from April. There had been fear among Democrats that unemployment might have been higher in May than in the previous three months.

 

African-Americans did not fare as well. The unemployment rate for Blacks of 16.2 percent did not budge in May and remained twice that of whites at 8.0 percent. Hispanics, who can be of any race, maintained an unemployment rate of 11.9 percent.

 

Employers hired only 54,000 new workers in May, the fewest in eight months, a sign that the economy may be slowing. Private companies hired 83,000 new workers in May—the fewest in nearly a year.

 

The number of unemployed persons (13.9 million) was essentially unchanged in May. The labor force, at 153.7 million, was little changed over the month.

 

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) increased by 361,000 to 6.2 million; their share of unemployment increased to 45.1 percent.

 

The Department of Labor said that total “job gains continued in professional and business services, health care and mining. Employment levels in other major private-sector industries were little changed, and local government employment continued to decline."

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