U.S. Unemployment Rate Showed Dramatic Increase in May

Washington, D.C.–The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 5.5 percent in May–the largest increase in more than two decades, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday.Workers already struggling with the housing decline and rising energy prices rise are now also facing an increased risk of unemployment, the New York Times said. Payrolls have declined every month in 2008; in May, employers cut 49,000 jobs. Manufacturers, construction companies and the retail industry were the most affected due to reduced demand and cost-cutting, according to the Times. In addition, the government announced revised, lower payroll estimates for April and March Friday that included a total loss of 15,000 jobs.The employment news helped drive the major stock exchanges down dramatically Friday morning, the Times said.