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Friday, June 1, 2012

US job growth weakest in a year

People walk past a sign leading to a job center in Rosemead, California.
People walk past a sign leading to a job center in Rosemead, California.
People walk past a sign leading to a job center in Rosemead, California.

Job growth in May was the weakest in a year and employers added far fewer jobs in the prior two months than previously reported, suggesting the economic recovery was faltering.The unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent as people flocked into the labor market.

Employers created a paltry 69,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said today, the fewest since May last year. In addition, employers added 49,000 fewer jobs than previously estimated in March and April.

The weak payrolls report could cause the Federal Reserve to move closer to launching a third round of bond purchases to shore up the economy. It could also exert more pressure on President Barack Obama, who faces a tough re-election campaign in November.

The level of employment is still 5 million jobs below where it was in December 2007, when the economy fell into recession.

The labor force participation rate - the share of working-age Americans who either have a job or are looking for one - rose to 63.8 percent after dropping to a 30-year low in April.

Job gains were weak across the board last month, with the private sector adding only 82,000 positions. Government payrolls dropped by 13,000, dragged down by ongoing belt-tightening by local governments.

Construction employment fell 28,000 in May, the fourth straight decline, driven by an increase in residential construction.

Manufacturing, the recovery's star performer, added 12,000 jobs.

Given the high unemployment rate, average hourly earnings rose only two cents and the average workweek fell to 34.4 hours.

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Tags:  US  employment  jobs  





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