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Census Hiring Contributes to Unemployment Drop

Hiring for Census 2010 pushed up employment numbers for the month of May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Total nonfarm payroll increased by 431,000 workers last month, with 411,000 of those workers hired by the Census. Private sector employment grew by a modest 41,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate decreased slightly to 9.7 percent.

Fifteen million Americans were unemployed as of last month. Nearly 7 million of those unemployed have been out of work for at least 27 weeks. Long-term unemployed people comprise 46 percent of the unemployed population.

Nearly 9 million people were classified as involuntary part-time workers, or part-time for economic reasons, a drop of 343,000 workers. More than 1 million unemployed people described themselves as discouraged workers, or unemployed and not seeking work because they believe there are no jobs available for them.

Employment in the manufacturing sector improved slightly, adding 29,000 positions. Since the beginning of the year, factories have added 126,000 employees. Private sector industries such as wholesale and retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and financial services had little or no employment change in May.

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