U.S. Payrolls Up Just 69,000 in May

Smallest jobs gain in a year and increase in jobless rate suggest labor market is stalling.

American employers in May added the smallest number of workers in a year and the unemployment rate unexpectedly increased as job-seekers re-entered the workforce, further evidence that the labor-market recovery is stalling.

Payrolls climbed by 69,000 last month, less than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg News survey, after a revised 77,000 gain in April that was smaller than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate called for a 150,000 May advance. The jobless rate rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent, while hours worked declined.

Presidential Election

The jobs data also come five months before Americans head to the polls to either re-elect President Barack Obama or choose presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who has said White House policies have prevented a stronger economic recovery.

Looking for Work

Favors, who worked last as a grocery store department manager and is an Air Force veteran, said he has put out around 80 applications for work and continues to search.

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