SPUTTERING AGAIN: Two straight months of weak job growth have raised fears that the U.S. economy is stalling for the third year in a row. Hiring slowed to an average 135,000 a month in March and April. Economists expect the government to report Friday that job growth came in at 158,000 in May.
LAST YEAR WAS WORSE: During last year's slowdown, job growth came in below 100,000 for four straight months _ from May through August. The average was 80,000 jobs a month.
2010 WAS WORSE YET: In 2010, the economy lost jobs four straight months, from June through September. The average loss was 76,000.