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--- Jeff (5/4/2012)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. employers cut back on hiring in April and more people gave up the hunt for work, dimming hopes the economy was turning a corner just as President Barack Obama prepared to launch his re-election campaign.

Employers added 115,000 workers last month after increasing payrolls 154,000 in March, the Labor Department said on Friday. Economists had expected to see the creation of 170,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate ticked a tenth of a point lower to 8.1 percent, a three-year low, but only because people left the workforce.

It was the third straight month in which hiring slowed, intensifying fears that the U.S. recovery is losing momentum and opening the door a bit wider for the Federal Reserve to ease monetary policy.

"The bottom line is you don't have evidence that this economy has reached escape velocity," said Robert Tipp, an investment strategist at Prudential Fixed Income.

Still, the report was not all negative. The government revised upward its earlier estimates for payroll growth in February and March by a combined 53,000.

U.S. stocks opened lower following the data's release, while yields on U.S. government bonds edged lower and the dollar weakened as investors saw a greater probability of more efforts by the Fed to boost the economy.


The report could rattle nerves at the White House. Weak U.S. growth and high unemployment create a formidable headwind for Obama, who entered office during the darkest days of the 2007-09 recession.

His Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, repeatedly has accused Obama of doing too little to foster job growth.

House Republican Speaker John Boehner called the report "more evidence President Obama's policies aren't working for families and small businesses, and aren't creating enough jobs to get our economy back on track."

The White House tried to put the report in a positive light.

"One month does not a trend make," White House economic adviser Alan Krueger told CNBC. "I think it makes sense to average the last few months together and the economy continues to go in a positive direction."

The unemployment rate, which soared to as high as 10 percent during Obama's first year in office, held near 9 percent for most of last year before falling sharply over the winter.

Still, the jobless rate remains about 2 percentage points higher than its average over the last 50 years, and the Fed thinks the labor market probably will not post a full recovery for at least another several years.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said last month the central bank is providing enough support for the economy but kept open the possibility of a further round of bond purchases to push interest rates lower should the economy weaken.

"I don't think Fed policy is going to change at this point," said Sean Incremona, an economist at 4cast. "They obviously are going to be on guard now that employment growth is not picking up and is more likely to slow."

Many economists think the weakness evident in the labor market over the past two months is largely payback for stronger hiring during a mild winter.

The report showed the private sector accounted for all the job gains in April, adding 130,000 new positions. Manufacturing registered another strong month, adding 16,000 jobs.

Wall Street analysts see economic growth holding at a lackluster 2.2 percent annual rate in the second quarter, matching its pace in the first three months of the year.

The length of the average work week held steady at 34.5 hours in April.
6/2/2012 8:04:41 PM
Furrealz? That's marevolusly good to know.
6/2/2012 8:56:32 AM
that stocks bceuond back from a nearly 700 pt drop and there are serious slides this week but it isn't the worse one we have had.128 point loss is steep but it is much better than the 700 that it was.The liberals running around yelling the sky is falling the sky is falling is part of the reason for this they are in a panic and DEMANDED a bailout which is only a bandaid. It might get worse but we are ok. The WHOLE WORLD is experiencing the same thing right now .so the world won't crash!Not to say it isn't serious .it is I do believe the government will handle this .and solve it eventually!BAD NEWS If OBAMA Is in though .and we will never hear the end of it that it was the republicans but it is the democrats CLINTON did this .don't be fooled into thinking different. You can't make money like we did back then and not pay for it now. IT was AMAZING the money we made during Clinton years but it was a false bottom a bubble under false economy and we were in a recession when Bush took office ..but no one says anything about THAT!There was a crash in 1970 too ..Look at history a recession is on average at this time .we go in cycles and we have ALWAYS corrected the situation within two years.Remember too this is a good thing that this weekend is a holiday weekend and all markets are closed hopefully people will step back and take a second look. We are living the housing bubble 45 percent drop right now that is a WHOLE LOT OF LIBERAL caused problems from Clinton !Stock is a sliver of a market based on earnings .companies are going to earn 40 percent less but not all companies are going to go out of business right now ..we are not going to go down.Companies are trading at muliti million dollar lows right now so that means we are going to go up! It will take time..!Just DON'T PANIC!!!!!!! We are senior citizens and we are worried about our 401 K's and stocks and we have taken a huge hit but we have done this before and it went up before and it will go up again.You cannot solve 30 years of unwinding credit being defaulted in just a few days.Not ONE BANK has lost ONE person's FDIC money .so it is really not THAT bad yet! Oh and please stop listening to the news ..they can give you facts but they are also VERY NEGATIVE! That is their business to report everything they have 24/7 to cover news and they are fighting for time! So the most outrageous they get the more viewers they get.
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