One month of slower job growth might have been a blip. Two suggest a worrisome trend: The economy may be faltering again.
The United States generated just 115,000 jobs last month, well below expectations and the fewest since October. The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent, but for the wrong reason — workers abandoned the labor force.
From December through February, employers added 252,000 jobs a month on average. But the figure dipped in March and dropped further in April, raising doubts about an economic recovery that can’t seem to reach escape velocity.
The report Friday by the Labor Department indicated “an economy that is losing momentum — especially on the jobs front,” said Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets.
It also dealt a blow to President Barack Obama’s re-election prospects. His presumed Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, called the report “very disappointing.”
Romney said the country should be adding 500,000 jobs a month and said any unemployment rate above 4 percent is “not cause for celebration.” The rate has not been that low seen since the last days of the Clinton administration.
“We seem to be slowing down, not speeding up,” Romney said on Fox News Channel. “This is not progress.”
Read more at Official Wire. By Christopher S. Rugaber And Paul Wiseman, AP.
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