WASHINGTON — 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 Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.2 percent.
The economy has added just 75,000 jobs a month in the April-June quarter. That’s one-third of 226,000 a month created in the first quarter. Job creation is also trailing last year’s pace through the first six months of 2012. [...]
A weaker job market has made consumers less confident. They have pulled back on spending, even though gas prices have plunged.
High unemployment could shift momentum to Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. An Associated Press-GfK poll released last month found that more than half of those surveyed disapproved of President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy.