Magic Number of the Day: 69,000

Photograph by Davis Turner/Bloomberg

A denim factory in Raleigh, North Carolina.

That’s how many jobs U.S. employers added in May, the fewest in a year, according to Labor Department figures released today.

Republicans quickly brandished the figures as evidence that President Barack Obama’s policies have failed. The jobs report is “devastating news for American workers and American families” and it’s “now clear to everyone that President Obama’s policies have failed to achieve their goals,” Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, said in a statement this morning.

The White House noted that the economy has added 4.3 million private-sector jobs over 27 consecutive month of job growth.

“There is much more work that remains to be done to repair the damage caused by the financial crisis and deep recession that began at the end of 2007,” Alan Krueger, chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, said in a blog post on the White House’s Web-site. He said that it’s “critical that we continue the president’s economic policies that are helping us dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession.”

The jobs report, which was released at 8:30 am EDT, and the economy generally will dominate the discussion in the corridors of Washington and on the campaign trail today.

Bloomberg’s Timothy R. Homan has an analysis of the jobs report, including a comment from the economist whose projection of a gain of 75,000 jobs was closest to the May figure among the 87 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Weak job growth and an increase in the unemployment rate to 8.2 percent may weaken Obama’s re-election campaign, Bloomberg’s Mike Dorning writes.

In addition to the job numbers, Obama also has to be concerned about the possibility that the Supreme Court may reject at least part of the 2010 health-care overhaul that included a mandate to purchase insurance. Bloomberg’s Hans Nichols writes that the president is telling Democratic donors he may have to revisit the issue in a second term.

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