Double Trouble: Gloom Besets Jobs Market, Small Biz Outlook

U.S. employers added a disappointing 69,000 jobs in May as the unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent in the wake of people rejoining the labor force.
Economists had expected as many as 150,000 jobs added and the jobless rate to remain at 8.1 percent.
The numbers placed more doubt over an already sluggish economic recovery.
Moreover, revisions to previous months made bad news worse. Revisions showed the economy gained fewer jobs in March and April than originally thought. March’s numbers were lowered by 11,000 jobs, while April’s plummeted by 38,000.
Meanwhile, three studies in recent days show that small businesses are reluctant to hire because of uncertainty over the economy.
Payroll company ADP said the pace of hiring by businesses with fewer than 50 employees, slowed in May.
A study released today by PayNet, a research firm that monitors loans to small business, found that lending fell 2 percent in April after a 3 percent drop in March. PayNet also found that small business are slow to hire.
The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index fell to 94.1 in April, from the previous month’s 98.5. It was at 110.5 in December.
A monthly survey of small business owners by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) also found little change in the hiring posture.
Seasonally adjusted, 12 percent of owners surveyed added an average of 3.3 workers per firm over the past few months, and 14 percent reduced employment an average of 2.9 workers per firm, NFIB said. The remaining 74 percent of owners made no net change in employment.
“While firms have eased lay-offs, they haven’t resumed strong hiring. Unemployment claims remain high and seasonal adjustments are off track as hiring, normally done in March and April, may have occurred earlier in the year,” the NFIB said.

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