A bright spot in the report was worker pay. Average hourly earnings rose by 0.2 percent in May after a 0.4 percent gain in April that was a bit stronger than initially reported. Worker pay increased 2.5 percent over the 12 months ended in May.
The report showed weakness in sectors vulnerable to slow overseas markets and the cutbacks in energy investment, along with hiring slowdowns in services.
Factories cut employment for the third time in the last four months, while construction companies shed 15,000 jobs.
The payrolls figure also reflected a work stoppage at Verizon Communications Inc. that Labor Department data showed involved some 35,100 workers, the most in four years. Those workers were idle for the entire payroll survey pay period, which includes the 12th of the month.
Landline workers at Verizon began protesting in April as the company sought to increase workers’ contributions for health benefits and greater flexibility in temporary job relocations.
Friday’s report showed employment in the information sector dropped by 34,000.
Fed policy makers, who are considering when to next raise interest rates after lifting them in December for the first time in almost a decade, have said they expect continued improvement in the job market.
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