- US employment rose far less than expected in May to record its weakest reading since Sept, while the jobless rate rose to 9.1 pct as high energy prices and the effects of Japan's earthquake bogged down the economy
- Nonfarm payrolls increased 54,000 last month, the Labor Dept said on Friday, with private employment rising 83,000, the least amount since June
- Govt payrolls fell 29,000
- Economists polled by Reuters had expected payrolls to rise 150,000 and private hiring to increase 175,000 in May
- The govt revised employment figures for March and April to show 39,000 fewer jobs created than previously estimated
- MARK LAMKIN, CEO AND CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, LAMKIN WEALTH MANAGEMENT, LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY: "It's definitely weaker than what the market was expecting but since we have taken two steps forward up until now, it's normal to take a step back, although this step was a bit bigger than expected. It's a bad report but not a horrible one because we are adding jobs nonetheless, just less than what we want. People sell first and ask questions later so after these
numbers, we are in for a rough day (for stocks). We are going to start off poor but I don't think we will be seeing a piling on effect. After a number of economic data this week, we weren't expecting today's numbers to be good to begin with."
- NIGEL GAULT, CHIEF U.S. ECONOMIST, IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT, LEXINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS. "It strongly reinforces the notion that the economy has slowed markedly in the second quarter. "It's weak across the board. We can't point to any one special factor and say that makes this an aberration. The message is the pace of growth has slowed clearly. "There are good reasons to suppose the third quarter will be better because we have seen some easing in commodity prices, gasoline prices are starting to come down and the bad effects on vehicle production of the Japanese problems will start to unwind. "So there are plenty of reasons to expect the third quarter will be better. But the question is now becoming how much better? Will there really be a very clear bounce, or are we in for more continued sluggish growth, with any bounce almost imperceptible. That's the worry."
- TOM PORCELLI, CHIEF U.S. ECONOMIST, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, NEW YORK: "Just a flat out weak report, with weakness in every category. This should keep people talking about how the economy has slowed down in earnest and that is the right conversation to have. We were sort of hopeful that the data would counter some of the other reports we have had recently, but this only enforces it. The Fed is on hold and from our perspective they will be unwilling to look at one month's data, but certainly this will catch their attention. This only gives Treasury yields another reason to push lower."