Employers in the U.S. hired fewer workers than forecast in June, showing the labor market is making scant progress toward reducing joblessness.
Payrolls rose 80,000 last moth after a 77,000 increase in May, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Economists projected a 100,000 gain, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. The unemployment rate held at 8.2 percent. Private employment, which excludes government agencies, increased 84,000 in June, the weakest in 10 months.
The economic and jobs outlook will play a major role in President Barack Obama’s bid for re-election. Only one president since World War II, Ronald Reagan, has stayed in office with a jobless rate above 6 percent. Reagan won a second term in 1984 with 7.2 percent unemployment in the month of the election; the rate had fallen almost three percentage points in the previous 18 months.