Analysts say this represents slowing job growth and a weakness in economic recovery. Last month's forecasted 115,000 added jobs was later revised to just 77,000. The number of long-term unemployed rose to 5.4 million from 5.1 million this month, another worrying sign of weakness in recovery, say analysts.
Until this month's increase from 8.1%, the jobless rate had been steadily declining since last August, when the unemployment figure was 9.1%. The average hourly earnings in May rose by just 2 cents, to $23.41. That's an increase of 1.7% from a year ago, less than the annual inflation rate.