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US Economy Adds Lackluster 69K Jobs in May

By Mike Sunnucks for Phoenix Business Journal

The U.S. economy added an anemic 69K jobs in May with long-term unemployment increasing and construction shedding jobs.

The national unemployment rate — 8.2 percent in May – is relatively unchanged from April’s 8.1 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But the May job gains are lackluster. The first quarter of this year saw average monthly job gains of 226K positions, according to BLS. The tough job market — in Phoenix and nationwide — is poised to be a top election issue this November.

Construction’s 28K lost jobs are the largest in two years, according to the Associated General Contractors.

There were 7.7M construction workers in the U.S. in April 2006 before the recession.

The latest BLS numbers have that number now at 5.5M, a 23 percent drop.

Arizona lost 314K jobs during recession. The U.S. economy lost 8.9M jobs, according to Arizona State University and BLS.

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