Quick Takes | Wages Incomes and Wealth

Job loss slows but unemployment hits 9.4%

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The unemployment rate increased from 8.9% to 9.4% in May as over half a million workers were added to the jobless rolls. May marked the 17th straight month of job loss; the current recession is now officially the longest economic downturn since the Great Depression. However, the good sign in this report is that the pace of job loss is slowing, as the U.S. labor market shed 345,000 jobs in May compared to an average of 643,000 per month over the prior six months. “The loss of 345,000 jobs in May – 0.3% of employment – makes this jobs report the second worst in a quarter century not including the current recession, but in today’s economy a loss of only 345,000 jobs is welcome news,” said EPI economist Heidi Shierholz


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