US labour market to stay in doldrums until autumn

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 new jobs last month, far below expectations and no significant help to the 14.1 million Americans looking for work. It follows an equally 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 one-tenth of a point to 9.2 per cent, whereas economists had predicted it would remain flat.

And there was no signal in the detail of the Labour Department's figures to suggest a build-up of demand that could shake the economy out of its funk in the coming months.

The number of temporary workers – seen as an indicator that employers are responding to extra demand before hiring full-time staff – fell in June for the third month in a row.

The Federal Reserve ended its programme of monetary stimulus last week, and predicted the recovery will resume when manufacturing supply disruptions from the Japanese tsunami abate, and when earlier fuel price rises are absorbed.

Since then, fuel prices have resumed their upward trajectory, and a new flare-up in the eurozone debt crisis has helped erode confidence in the Fed's assessment.

Kathy Bostjancic, director for macroeconomic analysis at the Conference Board, predicted a downward spiral will last at least until the autumn.

Fears of a slowdow in the pace of the US recovery are mirrored in Britain, where experts warned yesterday the construction sector performed so badly in May the second quarter of the year may have seen negative growth from the economy as a whole.

The Office for National Statistics said UK construction was just 0.4 per cent up in May, some way off forecasts – it follows a 12.4 per cent slump in April.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral