Job losses slow in May, but unemployment hits 9.4 percent

More progress in the long journey back to economic health. The U.S. economy lost 'only' 345,000 jobs in May, the U.S. Labor Department announced Friday, with the nation's unemployment rate rising to 9.4 percent, the highest rate since 1982. But the job loss total was considerably less than expected for the second straight month, providing more evidence that layoffs may have peaked in the world's largest economy.

It was the lowest monthly job loss total in eight months. A Bloomberg News economists survey had forecast the economy to shed 530,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate to rise to 9.2 percent. The economy lost 539,000 jobs in April and 699,000 jobs in March.