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

Mugabe Dismisses Male-Female Equality

'It is not possible that women can be at par with men' incoming African Union president declares on eve of summit More

Somali Terror Suspect's Light Sentence Raises Questions

Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, could have spent 15 years in prison but judge instead sentenced him to a halfway house, and a program to try to integrate him back into the community More

Video Kobani Ravaged Following Kurdish Ouster of IS Militants

Even so, hundreds of refugees sheltering in Turkey seek to return; Kurdish forces hold some back, saying fighting continues 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.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8837
JPY
USD
117.92
GBP
USD
0.6608
CAD
USD
1.2531
INR
USD
61.900

Rates may not be current.