WASHINGTON - U.S. employment virtually stalled last month, showing a net growth of just 18,000 jobs.
That nudged the unemployment rate to 9.2 percent and raises serious recovery concerns.
"Our economy as a whole just isn't producing nearly enough jobs for everybody who's looking," President Obama admitted.
Obama blamed economic headwinds, natural disasters, sky-high gas prices and government budget cuts that slashed 39,000 jobs.
In Louisville, Kentucky a huge crowd braved an early morning rain to apply for 1,800 jobs at a re-tooled Ford plant.
"Opportunities like this don't come around in this type of economy so I had to be here early," said Bill Truss.
While the economy added 6,000 manufacturing jobs in June, that's a drop in a very big bucket.
"Anyway you cut this data, it's lousy," says Mesirow Financial economist Diane Swonk.
Meanwhile, Obama has called Congressional leaders back to the White House on Sunday to break the stalemate over the debt ceiling and government spending.
Democrats and Republicans are united on one point: They don't like what they're hearing so far.
"We are not going to reduce the deficit or subsidize tax cuts for the rich on the backs of America's seniors and working families," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
"There is no agreement," said Speaker John Boehner, "in private or in public, and as the president said yesterday, we are this far apart."
The White House is lowering expectations for Sunday's meeting, predicting bottom lines but not breakthroughs.
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