The latest employment report, released by the Labor Department June 3, showed job growth slowed nearly to a crawl in May. Employers boosted payrolls by only 78,000 after a hiring spurt of 274,000 in April.

May’s job gains were the weakest in almost two years.

Job cuts were reported in manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, accounting and bookkeeping and temporary help. Those losses tempered gains in retail, construction, education, health care and elsewhere, reported The Associated Press.

“A robust recovery would see a net gain of about 300,000 new jobs per month,” said Art Perlo, an analyst with the Communist Party USA’s economics commission. “In the past 18 months, we have reached or approached that level several times (most recently March-April), only to stumble the next month.

“Job gains since March have averaged about 158,000 per month, barely ahead of the monthly increase in working-age population of 140,000 to 150,000,” he said.

The manufacturing sector continues to lose jobs, Perlo said. “In the last three months, 9,000 jobs have been lost in apparel, and 13,000 in other manufacturing — demonstrating that the end of the textile quotas may be contributing to manufacturing job loss, but are only part of the story.”

The June 7 announcement by General Motors that it would cut 25,000 jobs over the next few years only adds to the gloomy jobs picture.