The unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point to 8.2 percent as employers added only 69,000 jobs in May, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, indicating a slowdown in economic growth.
May's job gains were the paltriest in a year. The job gain in April was revised downward from 115,000 to just 77,000.
Employment increased in May in health care, transportation and warehousing, and wholesale trade but declined in construction. Employment was little changed in most other major industries, according to the BLS.
Private businesses added 82,000 jobs last month for the 27th month in a row, and overall non-farm payroll employment rose by 69,000. The unemployment rate rose from 8.1 percent in April to 8.2 percent in May. However, the labor force participation rate increased 0.2 percentage point to 63.8 percent, and employment rose by 422,000 according to the household survey.
“There is much more work that remains to be done to repair the damage caused by the financial crisis and deep recession that began at the end of 2007,” wrote Allan Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, on the White House blog. “Just like last year at this time, our economy is facing serious headwinds, including the crisis in Europe and a spike in gas prices that hit American families’ finances over the past months. It is critical that we continue the President’s economic policies that are helping us dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession.”
“President Obama’s failed policies have made high unemployment and a weak economy the sad new normal for families and small businesses,” said Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, in a statement. “For three years the unemployment rate has remained far above what the administration predicted with the ‘stimulus’ spending binge. Half of recent college graduates are out of work or underemployed, and for those lucky enough to have a job, prices for everything from gas to groceries have risen faster than paychecks.”
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