Unemployment increased to 9.1 percent in May, and only 54,000 new jobs were created. Economists point to lingering impacts of the tsunami plus rising food and gas prices.
Postings for tech jobs were up 30 percent last month compared with a year ago, according to Craigslist. Job hiring already resulted in upbeat employment numbers last week.
Weak sales are keeping many businesses from hiring new workers. Consumers are not spending at their normal levels, and although housing has improved, it's not leading the economic recovery.
A number of positive trends support the Federal Reserve chief's statement that the recession has "very likely" ended.
The sharp rise in claims in recent weeks suggests that the pace of unemployment is not slowing down.
January's loss of 598,000 jobs hit factory workers and professional and business-services employees hardest.
Until then, employment, output, and housing prices will keep falling.
Obama vows action as jobless rate jumps to 6.5 percent.
Citing dreary job numbers, some economists see the first 'recession election' since 1980.