The Straits Times
Published on Jan 04, 2013

US adds modest 155,000 jobs in December


WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US jobless rate held at 7.8 per cent in December, roughly unchanged in four months, as jobs created during the month were a modest 155,000, Labor Department figures showed on Friday.

Tepid economic growth and business reticence to hire as government leaders battled to the January 1 deadline to avert the economic crunch of the fiscal cliff meant that the employment situation registered little significant improvement in the final quarter of 2012.

The number of jobs created was slightly lower than in November, and close to the monthly average for both 2011 and 2012 of 153,000, showing the economy is still generating enough fresh positions to only slowly pull down the jobless rate.

As has been the pattern, the private sector was the source of employment gains, adding 168,000 jobs in December, while government authorities at the federal and local levels continued to trim payrolls, by 13,000.