Only 69,000 jobs were added and the unemployment rate increased to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent the previous month. Not only that, the gains from the previous two months were revised downward, by a net 49,000. It was the third straight month of weak job growth, and it's sure to raise doubts about the slow-moving recovery. Here's the Labor Department release.
From the NYT:
April's gain in jobs of 115,000 was revised down to an increase of 77,000. "In February or March, I thought the labor market had achieved escape velocity," said Patrick J. O'Keefe, the director of economic research at J. H. Cohn, a consulting firm. "It appears to me now that that was a premature call."
*NYT Washington Bureau Chief Dave Leonhardt tweets:
"This is the jobs report that economists - and the White House - feared. For 3rd straight year, the spring slowdown has arrived."
*From Justin Wolfers:
"Average jobs growth over the past 3 months is +100k. That's enough to keep the unemployment roughly stable, but no more."
*One dubious plus from the bad economic news: Oil prices have plummeted, with NY futures contracts down to $82 a barrel.