The unemployment rate jumped to 9.4 percent in May as 345,000 people joined the ranks of the unemployed.

The actual number of people who lost their jobs in May is less than in previous months, as more than 500,000 jobs were lost in March and April. That suggests the pace of the recession is slowing.

Still, the 9.4 percent unemployment rate is the highest it has been since 1983. A total of 14.5 million Americans are now unemployed, according to the Department of Labor. Nearly half of that number consists of people who have become unemployed since December 2007.

- Ian Swanson