News Summary: Weak US job market weighs on economy

HIRING SLOWS ECONOMY: Sluggish hiring is weighing on the U.S. economy three years after the Great Recession ended. And the evidence suggests that job gains won't pick up any time soon.

LAYOFFS RISE: A measure of the number of people applying for unemployment benefits over the past month has reached a six-month high, the government said Thursday. The increase suggests that layoffs are rising and June will be another tepid month for hiring.

MANUFACTURING, HOME SALES: Other data weren't much better. Home sales fell in May from April. And manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region contracted for the second straight month in June.