US hiring plunges to worst level in 5 years

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WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. hiring plunged in May to its lowest level in more than 5 years, a sign that employers are turning cautious after the economy barely expanded in the first three months of the year.

The Labor Department says employers only added 38,000 jobs in May, the fewest since September 2010.

Yet the unemployment tumbled to 4.7 percent from 5 percent for a very troubling reason: Nearly a half-million unemployed Americans stopped looking for work, and therefore were no longer officially counted as unemployed.

The disappointing figures will likely raise doubts that the Federal Reserve will boost the short-term interest rate it controls at its upcoming meetings in June and July. Many analysts had expected an increase by July.

The number of people no longer in the labor force exploded to 94,708,000 in May from 94,044,000 in April. That's an increase of almost 700,000 workers.

The "No Longer In Labor Force" number is up almost almost 1,700,000 from May 2015.

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