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News Link • Employment & Jobs

U.S. hiring stuck in low gear in June

•, By Jason Lange
 The Labor Department said on Friday non-farm payrolls expanded by just 80,000 jobs in June, falling short of forecasts though a tad higher than a revised May reading of 77,000. 

Job creation during the month wasn't enough to bring down the country's lofty 8.2 percent unemployment rate. The report appeared sure to fuel concerns that Europe's debt crisis is shifting the U.S. economy into low gear.

  "There's just not a lot of momentum in the economy," said Sam Bullard, an economist at Wells Fargo & Co in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Mitt Romney, Obama's Republican challenger, is focusing his campaign on the weak jobs market that has dogged Obama's presidency.

  The details of the report were also unsettling. The government said the economy created 1,000 fewer jobs during April and May than previously estimated. 

The somber report might push the Federal Reserve closer to taking new actions to lower borrowing costs to encourage companies to increase hiring. Analysts polled by Reuters expected an increase in payrolls of 90,000 jobs.

  Debt woes have bogged down much of Europe, sending some countries into recession. The euro zone crisis in turn has dulled economic growth around the world from China to Brazil. A survey on Monday found U.S. manufacturing contracted for the first time in nearly three years in June.

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