Jobs growth stalls, setting back recovery hopes

Jul 8, 2011, 9:29 a.m.

Republicans pointed the blame at Democrats.

"Today's report is more evidence that the misguided 'stimulus' spending binge, excessive regulations, and an overwhelming national debt continue to hold back private-sector job creation in our country," House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said in a statement.

The economy needs to create between 125,000 and 150,000 new jobs a month just to absorb new labor force entrants.

The private sector added 57,000 jobs last month, while government employment shrank 39,000 -- the eighth straight monthly decline -- as local and state governments continued to wield a budget ax.

Factory payrolls rebounded 6,000 after contracting in May for the first time in seven months, reflecting a step-up in motor vehicle production. Construction employment fell 9,000 last month after declining 4,000 in May

The length of the average workweek fell to 34.3 hours from 34.4 hours. Employers have been reluctant to extend hours because of the uncertainty surrounding the recovery and the decline suggested they were facing little pressure to increase hiring soon.

Average hourly earnings slipped a penny, the first decline since November and more evidence that wage-driven inflation is not a risk. Over the past year, earnings have risen only 1.9 percent.

(Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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