US unemployment rate rises to 7.9% in Jan

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US unemployment rate rose to 7.9 per cent in January from 7.8 per cent in December and the economy added 157,000 jobs, the Labour Department said Friday.

After a sweeping revision of 2012 data, the department also said monthly job growth averaged 181,000 last year, well above the prior estimate of 153,000 jobs.

December's jobs gains were revised 26 per cent higher, to 196,000.

In the first month of 2013, employment rose notably in retail trade, construction and health care, while jobs in government, transportation and warehousing slipped.

There was little change in manufacturing employment, which has been essentially flat since July 2012.

The January readings were less positive than expected. The consensus estimate was that the jobless rate ticked down a notch to 7.7 per cent and the US added 180,000 net jobs.

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