US jobs report: a cold blast of fear
The Christian Science Monitor
By Laurent Belsie
The chill winds of fear and economic uncertainty, centered in Europe, are beginning to buffet the United States.
Employers are slowing down their hiring. Consumers have turned cautious. It's not the present state of affairs that's got them worried, it's what lies ahead: the potential breakup of the eurozone, the uncertainty around US elections, and the coming expiration of US tax cuts.
"We hear that up and down the food chain," says Jim John, chief operating officer of Beyond.com, an online career network based in King of Prussia, Pa., for employers and job-seekers. "Employers are pulling in their horns."
The latest employment report, released Friday, confirm the jitters. Employers added only 69,000 jobs in May, the Department of Labor reported, the smallest increase in a year and less than half what a consensus of economists had forecast. Employment gains for the two previous months were also adjusted downward by a combined 49,000 jobs. The unemployment rate ticked up from 8.1 percent to 8.2 percent.
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