(WASHINGTON) — The nation’s jobs picture dimmed in May as employers added just 69,000 jobs and the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.2 percent. The latest numbers are a continuation of a long, slow employment recovery that began 33 months ago.
Economists had expected 150,000 new jobs and the jobless rate to stay at 8.1 percent, according to Bloomberg. Stocks, which had their worst month in two years in May, fell on the news with the Dow Jones industrials set to open down nearly 190 points.
Last month, the Labor Department reported 77,000 jobs were added in April, revised down Friday from 115,000 for an unemployment rate of 8.1 percent, a drop of one-tenth of a point from the previous month.
Economists generally agree that a healthy economy must create at least 200,000 jobs a month and the unemployment rate needs to fall to six percent or below — something the U.S. hasn’t seen since before the financial meltdown of 2007-2008.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Kathryn Vasel, CNN
Magdala Louissaint, KPVI
Heather Long, CNN