The Lookout

Employment figures barely budge as economy adds 69,000 jobs

The Lookout

The economy added just 69,000 jobs in May, according to the monthly report from the Bureau of Labor statistics. The figure barely moves the unemployment rate needle, which ticked up a tenth of a percentage point to 8.2 percent.

Adding to the lackluster report is news that the Bureau revised its April figure down from 115,000 news jobs to just 77,000. The figure for April was also revised down from 154,000 new jobs to 143,000.

The participation rate—a measure of those actively seeking work—increased slightly in May as 642,000 people joined the workforce. The total number of jobs added last month did not keep pace with the new demand, which caused the marginal rise in the unemployment rate.

The private sector added 82,000 jobs in May, while government jobs contracted by 13,000. The bulk of the new jobs came in the manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and health care sectors, offset by a loss of 28,000 construction jobs.

The Romney campaign wasted no time pouncing on the figures, sending reporters a statement 33 minutes after the report was published calling the figures "devastating news for American workers and American families." House Speaker John Boehner beat them to the punch, releasing a similar statement 13 minutes after the new figures were announced.

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