Employers added a 155,00 new jobs in December and the unemployment rate held steady at 7.8 percent, the government said Friday in a report that held to the expectations of financial analysts.
With the disruptive aftermath of superstorm Sandy and worries about whether Congress would shove the economy over the fiscal cliff, economists feared that 2012 would end with weaker than anticipated numbers. Instead, private-sector employers added 168,000 jobs in December, a bit over the trendline of recent months.
That number was dragged down by another 13,000 government jobs lost during the month.
For all of 2012, employers addded 1.835 million new jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
While welcome, Friday's numbers don't point to a rapidly accelerating economy. Instead they reflect an economy growing at a subpar annualized rate of around 2 percent.
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