Labor Breath

* Job creation by private companies grew at the slowest pace since the start of the year, as a wave of census hiring lifted payrolls by 431,000 in May, according to U.S. Labor Department figures released today. The unemployment rate dipped to 9.7 percent as people gave up searching for work.

Biden, Bernanke & Pelosi

Hope and Worry About Jobs

The Obama administration, the Federal Reserve and the House of Representatives all agree that something has to be done about the dismal labor market. Here’s what has been said this week, in anticipation to today’s report.

– The U.S. will add between 700,000 and 1.4 million workers to the list of the employed by year’s end, according to Vice President Joseph Biden. The prediction is considered safe judging by recent trends, but Biden didn’t offer any additional economic data to support his assumptions. Charlie Rose

– The Fed is trying to encourage lending to creditworthy companies out of concerns about the toll that joblessness is taking on Americans, said Chairman Ben Bernanke in Detroit, where the jobless rate exceeded 24 percent in April. Bloomberg

– The House will propose to reopen debate on COBRA subsidies when Congress returns, because its full costs are prohibitive to employees who have just lost their income, said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But it’d be a smaller package than the one rejected by Republicans and Democrats concerned about the federal deficit. Huffington Post

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