Jobless figures fuel fears for US recovery

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The Independent Online

The US labour market remained stagnant in June and unemployment drifted higher, raising the stakes on the Federal Reserve's bet that the economy's soft patch will be only temporary.

The US created just 18,000 jobs last month, far below expectations and no significant help to the 14.1m Americans looking for work.

It follows a disappointing May, when 25,000 jobs were created, compared with more than 200,000 a month earlier this year. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate ticked up to 9.2 per cent, Economists hoped it would remain flat.

And there was no sign in the figures of a build-up of demand that could shake the economy out of its funk in coming months. The number of temporary workers hired – an indicator that employers are responding to extra demand – fell for the third month.