The unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.2 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.
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The economy added an average of just 75,000 jobs a month in the April-June quarter - one-third of the pace in the first quarter.
For the first six months of 2012, employers added an average of 150,000 jobs a month. That's fewer than the 161,000 average for the first half of 2011.
Weaker job creation has caused consumers to pull back on spending.
Europe's debt crisis is also weighing on U.S. exports. And the scheduled expiration of tax cuts at year's end has increased uncertainty for U.S. companies, making many hesitant to hire.
Job creation is the fuel for the nation's economic growth. When more people have jobs, more consumers have money to spend - and consumer spending drives about 70 of the economy.
A weaker job market has made consumers less confident. They have pulled back on spending, even though gas prices have plunged.
Obama: Economy has to grow `even faster'
POLAND, Ohio (AP) -- A sobering economic snapshot intensified the presidential campaign on Friday as President Barack Obama rolled through two vote-rich battleground states and Republican Mitt Romney fended off conservative complaints about his plan for winning.
Obama, campaigning in Ohio, focused on private-sector job growth.
"Businesses have created 4.4 million new jobs over the past 28 months , including 500,000 new manufacturing jobs," Obama said. "That's a step in the right direction."
Alan Krueger, the chairman of the White House's Council of Economic Advisers, said the jobs report shows the economy is continuing to heal with the private sector adding jobs for 28 straight months. But the 80,000 net jobs created are not enough to keep up with population growth and Krueger conceded more must be done to recover from the financial crisis and the recession.
On his tour, Obama was promoting policies that he says have helped states such as Pennsylvania and Ohio, particularly the government bailout of Chrysler and General Motors.
"We saved an auto industry. That saved hundreds of thousands of jobs here in Ohio," Obama said in an interview with NBC affiliate WLWT in Cincinnati that was aired Friday. "We passed a health care law that's going to mean security for Ohioans."
Democrats sought to capitalize on the jobs created, which at 80,000 is not enough to keep up with population growth but sustains a string of months where the private sector has increased hiring.
"With the private sector continuing to create jobs for the twenty-eighth consecutive month, our economic recovery continues to push forward," Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the second ranking Democrat in the House, said in a statement.
Romney blames Obama for sluggish job growth
Romney said Friday's report that only 80,000 jobs were created in June is evidence that Obama's tax, energy and regulatory policies are hampering growth.
Romney said he would lower taxes, reduce regulations on energy producers, open new trade with Latin America and crack down on China for what he described as unfair practices that steal American jobs.
He said the nation's 8.2 percent unemployment rate doesn't reflect the number of Americans who are underemployed or have quit looking for work.
Romney spoke 10 minutes and took five questions from reporters in New Hampshire, where he is vacationing.
"I don't say much to critics," Romney told reporters, noting that he has issued a 59-point economic plan to counter the president.
"The president bet on a failed `stimulus' spending binge that led to 41 months of unemployment above 8 percent," House Speaker John Boehner said Friday.