In May, the number of unemployed persons (13.9 million) and the unemployment rate (9.1 percent) were essentially unchanged. The labor force, at 153.7 million, was little changed over the month.
In May, 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 number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged in May at 8.5 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
In May, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, about the same as a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted work and were available to work, and had looked for work sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Among the marginally attached in May, there were 822,000 discouraged workers (persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them), a decrease of 261,000 from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.)
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Unemployment rate at 9.1 percent in May 2011 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2011/ted_20110608.htm (visited December 10, 2023).