US jobs data escalate fears of double dip
The US economy added just 54,000 new jobs in May, confirming fears that the recovery has hit a soft patch as the unemployment rate ticked up to 9.1 per cent.
Non-farm payrolls rose far less than the 165,000 that economists polled by Bloomberg had expected and were well below the average 220,000 gain in the previous three months, the US labour department said.
The unemployment rate rose by a tenth of a point from 9 per cent in April, disappointing hopes that it would fall back to 8.9 per cent, but the increase was due to an expanding labour pool as more Americans searched for jobs. Out of a workforce of 153.7 million, 13.9 million people are unemployed.