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Just 80,000 Jobs Added In June; Unemployment Rate Stays At 8.2 Percent

Filed by KOSU News in Business.
July 6, 2012

Job growth was even weaker than economists feared in June as public and private employers added just 80,000 jobs to their payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. They had been expecting BLS would say there were closer to 100,000 more jobs in June than in May.

A separate BLS survey showed the nation’s jobless rate remained stuck at 8.2 percent. It’s been above 8 percent since February 2009.

The news will add to pressure on the Federal Reserve to do more to give the sluggish U.S. economy a boost and will add further fuel to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s argument that President Obama has done more harm than good when it comes to the economy. The Obama campaign counters that while job growth has slowed, there have been gains each month for more than two years as the economy recovers from what was a deep recession.

We’ll be updating this post with more from the report and reactions to it, so be sure to hit your “refresh” button to see our latest additions.

Update at 8:55 a.m. ET. “President Obama’s Policies Have Failed,” Boehner Says:

“Today’s report shows the private sector clearly isn’t ‘doing fine’ and that President Obama’s policies have failed,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, says in a statement his office just emailed to reporters.

“The president needs to stop betting on his failed policies and start working with Republicans to remove government obstacles to job creation,” Boehner adds.

The White House typically posts its first reaction to the employment reports on its blog. We’ll watch for that and pass along highlights.

Update at 8:45 a.m. ET. Early Analyses:

– The Wall Street Journal says the report is “the latest sign that economic growth has slowed.”

– Reuters says “employers hired at a dismal pace in June, raising pressure on the Federal Reserve to do more to boost the economy and further imperiling President Barack Obama’s chances of reelection in November.”

– “During the winter,” writes The New York Times, “the economy seemed to be picking up steam, as private companies took on more and more workers and the unemployment rate dropped steadily. But then job growth slowed suddenly in March, leading some economists to wonder if the unseasonably warm winter, rather than a fundamentally healthier economy, had been the real source of the temporary employment surge.”

Update at 8:40 a.m. ET. More Details:

– May’s Job Growth Revised Up Slightly: BLS now says there were 77,000 jobs added to public and private payrolls in May — a small number in an economy the size of the USA’s, but slightly more than the 69,000 in the bureau’s original estimate.

– Job Growth Slowed Sharply In The Quarter: According to the bureau, “in the second quarter, employment growth averaged 75,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 226,000 for the first quarter of the year. Slower job growth in the second quarter occurred in most major industries.”

Our original post, from 7:05 a.m. ET. “After May’s ‘Lousy’ News, Will June’s Jobs Report Be Much Better?”

“Horrid. Lousy. Awful.”

That’s how our post began last month when we reported about the May jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics — which showed just 69,000 net jobs added to public and private payrolls and an unemployment rate that ticked up to 8.2 percent from April’s 8.1 percent.

This morning at 8:30 a.m. ET, BLS is due to tell us about the employment picture in June. On Morning Edition, NPR’s Chris Arnold said economists expect BLS will say there were about 90,000 jobs added to payrolls last month — “tepid job growth,” he added. There likely weren’t enough new jobs to bring down the jobless rate, economists say.

Indeed, Reuters writes that job growth is “stuck in low gear” and says economists think the jobless rate stayed at 8.2 percent.

On the slightly positive side, though, The Wall Street Journal says that Thursday’s employment report from ADP (which we posted about) did spur “economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires” to raise their estimate of June job growth to at least 100,000 and in some cases to 125,000 from the 95,000 they had been expecting.

We’ll update this post with news from the report and reactions to it. Among things to watch for besides the June job growth and unemployment figures: revisions to the May numbers. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

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