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The American jobs engine hit stall speed in May, with the economy adding just 69,000 new jobs while the unemployment rate climbed to 8.2 percent.
As another summertime swoon looms, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that job creation missed economist estimates for 158,000 new positions, and said labor force participation remains near 30-year lows though incrementally better than last month.
In May, stocks suffered through their worst month in two years, and the job-creation figures only added to the gloom.
Stock market futures indicated a sharply lower open for Wall Street, while investors continued to pour into bonds, sending the 10-year Treasury note yield tumbling to near 1.50 percent.
The report comes a month after the government reported that just 115,000 new jobs were added in April, a number that helped contribute to a general malaise about economic growth.
With worries swelling over the state of the global economy, another weak employment report in the U.S. adds to fears that a sharp slowdown is on the way.