WASHINGTON—U.S. employers added just 69,000 jobs in May–the fewest in a year– as payrolls gains were disappointingly tepid for a third month.
The nation’s unemployment rate rose to 8.2% from 8.1% as 642,000 Americans surged into the labor force, the Labor Department said.
Dow Jones industrial average futures, which were already down 100 points before the report, fell an additional 100 points within minutes of its release.
The yield on the benchmark on the 10-year Treasury note plunged to 1.46%, the lowest on record, suggesting investors are flocking to the safety of U.S. government bonds.
The price of gold, which was trading at about $1,550 an ounce before the report, shot up $30. For much of the past three years, investors have seen gold as a safe place to put their money during turbulent economic times.
Businesses added 82,000 jobs, while governments cut 15,000. Job gains in health care, transportation and wholesale were were more than offset by losses in construction and leisure and hospitality and weak showings by previously strong sectors such as professional and business services.
A consensus of economists had estimated that employers added 150,000 jobs last month, including 160,000 in the private sector.