The number of unemployed persons increased by 861,000 to 8.5 million in May.
A year earlier, the number of unemployed persons was 6.9 million, and the jobless rate was 4.5 percent.
The unemployment rates for adult men, adult women, teenagers, whites, and blacks rose in May. The jobless rate for Hispanics was unchanged.
Among the unemployed, the number of reentrants and new entrants to the labor force rose in May, by 326,000 and 204,000, respectively.
The number of persons who had lost their last job increased by 268,000 over the month to 4.3 million. Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed job losers has risen by 907,000.
These data are from the Current Population Survey program and are seasonally adjusted. To learn more, see "The Employment Situation: May 2008," (HTML) (PDF) news release USDL 08-0757.