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The U.S. economic recovery is displaying signs of weakness after a jobs report on Friday showed employers pulled back on hiring and more workers dropped out of the labour force.
Employers added 115,000 workers to their payrolls last month, the Labour Department said on Friday. That was well below economists' expectations.
The unemployment rate ticked down by a tenth of a point to a three-year low of 8.1 percent, but only because a drop in the number of people hunting for jobs shrank the labour force.
It was the third straight month in which hiring slowed, intensifying fears that the U.S. recovery is losing momentum and opening the door wider for the Federal Reserve to ease monetary policy.
"There are some good reasons to be concerned," Evariste Lefeuvre, chief economist at Natixis North America, tells BNN. But Lefeuvre attributes much of the current weakness in the labour market to higher oil prices, which he expects will tick lower.
Of more concern to Lefeuvre are the structural issues facing the U.S. economy, which he says will continue to weigh on the labour market.
"The major reasons why you have a huge level of unemployment is because you have a lack of demand -- aggregate demand is much lower than it was in the last decade," he says. "And the reason is simple, it's because in the last decade it was driven by leverage and now we are in a long phase of deleveraging."
With files from Reuters