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May's disappointing jobs report in four capsule quotes

June 3, 2011 |  7:10 pm

Obama watches Anthony Davis one employed American at Chrysler Toledo plant 6-3-11

April 2010: What Vice President Joe Biden promised about jobs last year:

Well, I’m here to tell you some time in the next couple of months, we’re going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month.

May 2011: What Don Lee reported today about jobs on

The nation's job market took a sharp turn for the worse last month as employers abruptly curbed their hiring and the unemployment rate inched up — grim evidence that the economic recovery was faltering.

The new Labor Department report, which showed the unemployment rate rising to 9.1%, was bad news for millions of Americans seeking work and for the hundreds of thousands of newly minted college graduates whose prospects are increasingly uncertain.

But beyond those looking for work, the downturn in hiring signaled continuing troubles for the rest of the nation: A weaker economy — along with the increased risk of sliding into a new recession — reduces the likelihood that personal income will rise or that families will better themselves financially in other ways.

In recent days, an array of data have pointed to a slowdown in manufacturing and consumer spending, as well as persistent weakness in the depressed housing market.

Payrolls grew by only 54,000 in May, less than half what's needed to keep pace with growth in the working-age population.

The weak growth was all the more unsettling because it came after three straight months of solid payroll increases that averaged 220,000 a month and had led many analysts to believe the job market was finally turning the corner.

What Dow Jones reported today after the May jobs numbers came out:

U.S. stocks are on pace for a fifth straight weekly decline as a dismal jobs report added to the drumbeat of investor concerns about a slowing economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 111 points, or 0.9%, to 12137.

May 2011: What President Obama had to say today in Toledo, Ohio, about the latest disappointing jobs report:




-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Jeff Kowalsky / EPA (Obama watches one employed American, Anthony Davis, at Chrysler's Toledo plant, June 3).