News / Economy

US Hiring Slows, Unemployment Rate Hits 9.1 Percent

A stock trader looks at sinking prices after a US jobs report showed the smallest increase in eight months, June 3, 2011
A stock trader looks at sinking prices after a US jobs report showed the smallest increase in eight months, June 3, 2011

Multimedia

The U.S. economy is showing signs of slowing down, adding only 54,000 jobs in May - the smallest increase in eight months. The nation's unemployment rate inched higher last month to 9.1 percent, raising fears the U.S. recovery already may have peaked.

Hiring in May fell far short of the 150,000 jobs that Wall Street was expecting, sending stock prices sharply lower on Friday.

The big question among investors is whether the anemic job numbers are temporary or evidence of deeper economic problems. Economist Mark Vitner at Wells Fargo takes the more optimistic view.

"What this report reflects is a kind of the peak run-up in gasoline prices, the peak of the disruption in the Japanese supply shortages, so I don't think this necessarily should be carried forward all the way through the summer, although we probably will have another weak month or two," he said.

The White House downplayed the lower job numbers as just a bump in the road. On a tour of a Chrysler car plant in Ohio, President Barack Obama said the economy continues to recover from the worst recession in decades. He credited his administration's decision to bail out the auto industry for saving more than a million jobs.

"What's most important is that all three automakers are now adding shifts and creating jobs at the strongest rate since the 1990s," the president said.

The president's critics pounced on the jobs report as a sign the U.S. economy is on the wrong track.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner said, "You talk to job creators around the country like we have, they'll tell you that the over taxing, over regulating and overspending that's going on here in Washington is creating uncertainty and holding them back."

The weakness in hiring last month was widespread. Manufacturers cut 5,000 jobs, retailers slashed more than 8,000 positions, and the service and hospitality trades reduced payrolls by 6,000.  

Instead of giving up, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis told VOA's Spanish Language Service that unemployed workers should seek more training to improve their chances.

"We're finding that employers are saying we need people that are better trained, that know how to deal in customer service, that know how to do marketing, that know how to have command of the English language and also have some good skills sets," said Solis.

The White House says the U.S. economy has added more than two million jobs in the past 15 months. But the latest job numbers show nearly 14 million Americans still are looking for work.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9009
JPY
USD
123.09
GBP
USD
0.6387
CAD
USD
1.2524
INR
USD
63.605

Rates may not be current.