Recent report from the Labor Department confirmed earlier data pointing to a U.S. economic recovery in deceleration, but the same report also contained signs that a slide back into recession is unlikely.
After two consecutive months of strong hiring, the pace slowed precipitously in May 2011 with employers adding just 54,000 jobs as the jobless rate ticked up one-tenth of a point to 9.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The dip in hiring wasn't a complete surprise, since Wednesday's ADP National Employment Report had forewarned what might be coming. It measures private-sector hiring and reported employment gains of just 38,000. The broader government report Friday actually showed more robust private-sector hiring at 83,000 jobs. The overall national jobs number was dragged down by continued layoffs by state and local governments, which shed another 29,000 posts. Read more