U.S. employers pulled back on hiring big time last month, adding just 54,000 jobs. That has pushed the national unemployment rate back over 9 percent. And there's no blaming it on one-off events.
The Labor Department said severe weather last month, including tornadoes and flooding, in the Midwest and the South did not materially affect data collection. It also said that while some workers in those regions may have been temporarily displaced from their jobs, it found "no clear impact of the disasters on the national employment and unemployment data for May." The employment report provides one of the best early reads on the health of the U.S. economy and it regularly sets the tone for global financial markets.
SEE ALSO: A smorgasbord of economist reactions via the WSJ, with emotions ranging from "There is no way to put lipstick on that pig" to "This is an overreaction to gas prices."