Updated 06/01/2012 04:34 PM
Unemployment Jump Weighs Down Wall Street
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Wall Street investors ended the shortened trade week Friday on a rough note as the latest jobs report showed the nation's unemployment numbers are up for the first time in nearly a year.
At the closing bell, the Dow Jones was down 275 points at 12,118, its biggest decline since November.
Investors spent most of the day fighting back fears stemming from the latest U.S. Department of Labor figures which showed only 69,000 private sector jobs were created in the month of May.
The unemployment rate also rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 in the previous month.
Financial experts say the economic picture could get worse over European debt crisis fears and slowed growth in China and India.
"We have a global economic slowdown coming down, and even though we like to think we're immune to it to some extent, we're not. Plus we're still facing a lot of the same headwinds we've been facing all along," said Steven Ricchiuto of Mizuho Securities USA.
Speaking with NY1's Washington Bureau, U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said a lack of cooperation from Congress and political gamesmanship is hindering the nation's ability to create more jobs.
"A lot of the things that the president can do are limited because of the Congress and what their reaction is. In many cases, they are not supporting these initiatives," Solis said.
With his re-election possibly hinging on jobs, President Barack Obama tried to put a positive spin on the latest jobs report while speaking to supporters in Minnesota where the unemployment rate is 5.6 percent.
"We will come back strong, we do have better days ahead, and that is because of all of you," Obama said.
In a news conference Friday, House Speaker John Boehner countered Solis' claims, saying the president is not spending enough time trying to find a solution to the country's economic woes.
"Instead of another campaign speech, the president might want to engage with Democrats and Republicans here on Capitol Hill to handle the big policies that are affecting our economy," Boehner said.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney called Friday's jobs report "devastating news."
April's uptick in unemployment claims marks the first increase in jobless numbers in 11 months.