By PATRICIA COHEN and BINYAMIN APPELBAUM
JUNE 3, 2016
The government reported on Friday that employers added just 38,000 workers in May, a troubling sign that the economic recovery may have stalled, at least temporarily, and a sharp slowdown in hiring that is expected to push back a decision by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.
Despite the anemic job gains, the official unemployment rate, which is based on a separate survey of households, fell to its lowest point in nearly a decade, 4.7 percent from 5 percent in April. But the decline was primarily a result of Americans dropping out of the labor force rather than finding new jobs.
“Boy, this is ugly,” said Diane Swonk, an independent economist in Chicago. “The losses were deeper and more broad-based than we expected, and with the downward revision to previous months, it puts the Fed back on pause.”