US economy adds 155K jobs - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

US economy adds 155K jobs

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs in December, a steady gain that shows hiring held up during tense fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington.

The solid job growth wasn't enough to push down the unemployment rate, which stayed 7.8 percent last month, according to the Labor Department's report Friday. November's rate was revised higher from an initially reported 7.7 percent.

Stock futures rose modestly after the report was released.

Robust hiring in manufacturing and construction fueled the December gains. Construction firms 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.

Manufacturers 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. Employers added 1.84 million jobs in 2012, the same as the previous year.

Still, the stable hiring last month means employers didn't panic during the high-stakes talks between Congress and the White House over tax increases and spending cuts that were not resolved until the new year. That's a good sign for the coming months, since more budget disputes are expected.

While the parties reached a deal this week that removed the threat of income tax increases on most Americans, they postponed the more difficult decisions on cutting spending. And the government must also increase its $16.4 trillion borrowing limit by around late February or risk defaulting on its debt.

There were indications in the December report of the job market's ongoing sluggishness. The number of Americans unemployed actually rose 164,000 to 12.2 million. The unemployment figures come from a separate survey of households, while the job counts are derived from a survey of businesses.

Still, the economy is improving. Layoffs are declining, and the number of people who sought unemployment aid in the past month is near a four-year low.

The once-battered housing market is recovering. Companies ordered more long-lasting manufactured goods in November, a sign they are investing more in equipment and software. And Americans spent more in November. Consumer spending drives nearly 70 percent of economic growth.

Manufacturing is getting a boost from the best auto sales in five years. Car sales jumped 13 percent in 2012 to 14.5 million. And Americans spent more at the tail end of the holiday shopping season, boosting overall sales that had slumped earlier in the crucial two-month period.

  • Your MoneyMore>>

  • Manhattan West Project

    Skyline of West Side is changing

    Skyline of West Side is changing

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:25 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:25:22 GMT
    The Manhattan West Project is a $4.5 billion development that will change the skyline on the West Side. The five-acre site that will consist of office towers, a residential building, retail, a 5-star hotel, health and fitness facilities, rooftop gardens, restaurants, cafes, and a park is being built on top of active rail yards. Fox 5 got a look at the progress of the project.
    The Manhattan West Project is a $4.5 billion development that will change the skyline on the West Side. The five-acre site that will consist of office towers, a residential building, retail, a 5-star hotel, health and fitness facilities, rooftop gardens, restaurants, cafes, and a park is being built on top of active rail yards. Fox 5 got a look at the progress of the project.
  • Beach fashion

    Long-sleeved swimsuit is latest beach and pool fashion trend

    Long-sleeved swimsuit is latest beach and pool fashion trend

    Monday, July 21 2014 6:13 PM EDT2014-07-21 22:13:49 GMT
    You have lots of ways to look stylish on the beach, from a bikini to a tankini to a one piece. But the newest trend is long-sleeved swimsuits -- modesty takes precedence over a golden glow. The new beachwear is turning up on sites like ASOS and on luxury sites like Neiman Marcus. There are one piece versions and crop top versions.One of the pioneers of the trend is Dallas-based clothing company Cover.
    You have lots of ways to look stylish on the beach, from a bikini to a tankini to a one piece. But the newest trend is long-sleeved swimsuits -- modesty takes precedence over a golden glow. The new beachwear is turning up on sites like ASOS and on luxury sites like Neiman Marcus. There are one piece versions and crop top versions.One of the pioneers of the trend is Dallas-based clothing company Cover.
  • Wawa to close first store opened 50 years ago

    Wawa to close first store opened 50 years ago

    Monday, July 21 2014 3:01 PM EDT2014-07-21 19:01:43 GMT
    Wawa plans to close the first convenience store opened by the chain in the Philadelphia suburbs a half-century ago.  Susan Bratton, Wawa's regional real estate manager, says the old store is just too small.
    Wawa plans to close the first convenience store opened by the chain in the Philadelphia suburbs a half-century ago.  Susan Bratton, Wawa's regional real estate manager, says the old store is just too small.
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices