This has not been a great week for the U.S. job market as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the nation added just 69,000 jobs in May, the fewest in a year, pushing the national unemployment rate up to 8.2 percent from last month's 8.1 percent.
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That's after unemployment benefit claims rose on Thursday to 383,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 373,000. Neither number represents a massive descent into poverty and joblessness, but both are discouraging, showing an ebb to the momentum of the jobs market earlier this year. Add to that a sluggish gain in consumer spending (up 0.3 percent in April after March's revised 0.2 percent rise) and income, which "grew 0.2 percent in April, the poorest showing since incomes fell 0.1 percent in November," according to the AP, and today's economic numbers make for a distinctly cloudy forecast.