U.S. employers added only 80,000 jobs in June, a third straight month of weak hiring that shows the economy is struggling three years after the recession ended. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.2%.
The number of people seeking unemployment benefits suggests hiring is slowing. The Labor Department said Thursday that applications for initial jobless benefits dipped last week by 2,000, but that was only after it revised the previous week's number upward by 8,000.
Employers went on a hiring spree in January and drove down the unemployment rate for a fifth straight month to 8.3 percent, its lowest point in nearly three years. The result pointed to a resurgent job market, and it sent stock futures surging. The Dow Jones industrial average futures, which were flat before the report, jumped 95 points.
Stocks are opening slightly lower despite a government report that the unemployment rate dropped in December to the lowest level in nearly three years. The Labor Department said early Friday that the unemployment rate fell last month to 8.5%, while U.S. employers added a net 200,000 jobs.