US economy adds 155K jobs - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

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>>

  • Future of money

    Future of money

    Thursday, April 17 2014 1:27 PM EDT2014-04-17 17:27:18 GMT
    These days, when you check out of a grocery store, your toughest choice might be cash or credit.  But in a few years, there may be no need to carry dollar bills, credit cards, or stacks of cash.  It might sound like the stuff of science fiction but futurist and social scientist Heather Schlegel says it's not.
    These days, when you check out of a grocery store, your toughest choice might be cash or credit.  But in a few years, there may be no need to carry dollar bills, credit cards, or stacks of cash.  It might sound like the stuff of science fiction but futurist and social scientist Heather Schlegel says it's not.
  • IRS considers taxing work freebies like food

    IRS considers taxing work freebies like food

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 9:11 PM EDT2014-04-17 01:11:44 GMT
    In competitive job markets like Silicon Valley, companies are doing everything they can to entice the best and brightest -- offering freebies that have become the stuff of legend.Employee perks like free food at lavish cafeterias, laundry and even yoga are not unheard of.  But the taxman could soon crack down.  The IRS reportedly is looking at these perks and seeing if these companies need to start paying up for the free stuff they offer employees.
    In competitive job markets like Silicon Valley, companies are doing everything they can to entice the best and brightest -- offering freebies that have become the stuff of legend.Employee perks like free food at lavish cafeterias, laundry and even yoga are not unheard of.  But the taxman could soon crack down.  The IRS reportedly is looking at these perks and seeing if these companies need to start paying up for the free stuff they offer employees.
  • Social streaming video from your iPhone with YEVVO

    Social streaming video from your iPhone with YEVVO

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 8:46 AM EDT2014-04-16 12:46:01 GMT
    We met YEVVO's 26-year-old co-founder and CEO, Ben Rubin, on a rainy day in Madison Square Park. Among the four of us (Ben, me, my photographer, and the representative from Ben's PR firm), we had four smartphones and the free app Rubin created."What if you were going live during this interview and then somebody [online] started asking questions and then [that somebody] actually helped to create the content?" Rubin asked.
    We met YEVVO's 26-year-old co-founder and CEO, Ben Rubin, on a rainy day in Madison Square Park. Among the four of us (Ben, me, my photographer, and the representative from Ben's PR firm), we had four smartphones and the free app Rubin created."What if you were going live during this interview and then somebody [online] started asking questions and then [that somebody] actually helped to create the content?" Rubin asked.
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

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