Hiring Slows as Unemployment Rises to 9.2 Percent

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The latest jobs numbers are out and it doesn't look good for the U.S. economy.

Unemployment rose slightly in June to 9.2 percent, the highest unemployment rate so far this year.

The economy added only 18,000 net jobs last month, the lowest number of jobs added in the nine previous months.

"June's employment report doesn't have a single redeeming feature," said Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics. "It's awful from start to finish."

Two years after the recession officially ended, companies are adding fewer workers despite record cash stockpiles and healthy profit margins.

Companies have pulled back on hiring after adding an average of 215,000 jobs per month from February through April.

Economists have said that temporary factors, in part, have forced some employers to scale back hiring plans.

High gas prices have cut into consumer spending, which fuels 70 percent of economic activity.

And supply-chain disruptions stemming from the Japan crisis have slowed U.S. manufacturing production.

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