U.S. adds only 54,000 jobs in May
June 3rd, 2011
09:34 AM ET

U.S. adds only 54,000 jobs in May

[Updated at 9:34 a.m.] Stocks sell off sharply at the open following a dismal monthly jobs report. The Dow sunk 130 points, the Nasdaq slid 1.2%, and the S&P 500 was off 1%.

[Posted at 8:34 a.m.] In yet another alarm bell of a weakening U.S. economy, the job market took a disappointing turn in May.

The economy gained a mere 54,000 jobs in the month, a significant slowdown from 232,000 jobs added to payrolls in April, the government reported Friday.

The report was a major disappointment to economists who were expecting a gain of 170,000 jobs, according to a CNNMoney survey. Most believe the economy needs to add about 150,000 jobs a month just to keep pace with population growth.

Businesses added 83,000 jobs in May, well short of economists' forecast of a gain of 190,000 jobs for the private sector. It was the weakest level of business hiring in 11 months and comparable to the disappointing report by payroll processing firm ADP earlier this week that estimated a gain of only 38,000 private sector jobs.

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Filed under: Economy • Finance • Jobs