As Obama Touts Economic Recovery, Hiring Hits Five-Year Low

REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan.

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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Just a few days after President Obama made a special trip to Indiana to tout economic recovery, a new jobs report reveals U.S. hiring fell in May to its lowest level in five years.

After several months of particularly strong job growth employers added just 38,000 jobs to the economy in May, a surprisingly low number even the White House acknowledged Friday is dismal. That’s the lowest hiring number reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics since September 2010.

It’s a “disappointing” figure that is “considerably below both expectations and the pace of growth in recent months,” the White House said in a statement Friday following the Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report. In contrast, employers added 215,000 jobs to the economy in April and 242,000 jobs in March.

A few days ahead of the BLS report, Obama bragged about economic recovery in Elkhart, Indiana. “America’s economy is not just better than it was eight years ago,” he said Wednesday, highlighting a low unemployment rate. “It is the strongest, most durable economy in the world.”

Although unemployment dropped below 5 percent in May, the number of people working or looking for work declined slightly, and remains at its lowest level since the 1970s. Nearly 40 percent of Americans 16 or older are not working or looking for work. Wages have also remained stubbornly stagnant.

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