WASHINGTONThe U.S. economy added 155,000 jobs this past December, and the unemployment rate remained at 7.8 percent, according to latest data released Friday by the Labor Department.
November's rate was revised higher from an initially reported 7.7 percent.
Robust hiring in manufacturing and construction fueled the gains. Construction added 30,000 jobs, the most in 15 months. That likely reflects additional hiring needed to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy and also solid gains in home building that have contributed to a housing recovery.
Manufacturing gained 25,000, the most in nine months.
Even with the gains, hiring is far from accelerating. Employers added an average of 153,000 jobs a month last year, matching the monthly average in 2011.
A trio of reports released yesterday showed private hiring increased last month, while layoffs declined and applications for unemployment benefits stayed near a four-year low.
Payroll provider ADP's monthly employment survey showed businesses added 215,000 jobs last month, the most in 10 months and much higher than November's total of 148,000.
And outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said that the number of announced job cuts fell 43 percent in December from November, and overall planned layoffs in 2012 fell to the lowest level since 1997.
The decline in layoffs coincided with a drop last month in the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits. The four-week average was little changed at 360,000 last week.
by lga1965January 4, 2013 at 9:44 AM
Unemployment figures are inaccurate. How many of those people decided not to work....because it is easier that way.
In my state the unemployment rate has been below 6% for months. Maybe we are more inclined to WANT to work?
by LIMom1105January 4, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Any movement downward (in total percentage of people unemployed) is good IMO.
Actually, I've been hearing it was a good holiday season for retailers--total sales increased more than forecasted. Where did you see it was a bad season?
by gammieJanuary 4, 2013 at 12:08 PM
Obama's reelection some lost jobs.
Boeing Co. said Wednesday it plans to employ 30% fewer executives at its Boeing Defense, Space & Security unit by the end of 2012 compared to 2010 levels.
Energizer. The St. Louis-based company said Thursday that it expects to shed about 1,500 employees. When finished, the restructuring should lead to $200 million in pretax yearly savings
Research in Motion Ltd., the maker of BlackBerry smartphones, laid off about 200 people at its U.S. headquarters
Hawker Beechcraft. The company says 240 employees will lose their jobs with the closing of Hawker Beechcraft Services facilities in Little Rock, Ark.; Mesa, Ariz.; and San Antonio, Texas.
980 job cuts at U.S. Cellular, with 640 in the Chicago area, according to a spokeswoman
United Blood Services Gulf South region, the non-profit blood service provider for much of south Louisiana and Mississippi, will lay off approximately 10 percent of its workforce.
In its statement, UtahAmerican Energy blames the Obama administration for instituting policies that will close down “204 American coal-fired power plants by 2014″ and for drastically reducing the market for coal.
That’s only a partial list of course.