Unemployment rose slightly to 9.2 percent in June, as only 18,000 jobs were added, less than one-fifth of analysts' estimates. President Obama will deliver a statement on the report at 10:35 a.m. on Friday.
The consensus estimate, which was upwardly revised following a strong ADP National Employment Report on Thursday, was for a net job gain around 110,000 and a slight dip in the unemployment rate to 9.0 percent. The unemployment rate in May was 9.1 percent. Friday’s gain was the weakest since September 2010.
“It’s pretty horrible,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight.
Behravesh attributed the disappointing June report to tumult in commodity markets, continued worry about supply-chain disruptions following the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and—most importantly—uncertainty surrounding the fiscal situation in Washington as deficit negotiations continue.
He expected jobs numbers to continue to lag through the summer, but said there was a lot of pent-up demand on the part of businesses and consumers that will be released “sooner or later.”
The economy added 54,000 jobs in May, a disappointing number that had been expected to rebound this month as the effects of the supply-chain disruptions from the Japan crises dwindle.