A new jobs report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics today showed that 155,000 new U.S. jobs were added in December 2012. Though this is good news for thousands of Americans, the news was tempered somewhat by the fact that the unemployment rate remained unchanged.
The 155,000 new jobs were primarily added in the healthcare, food service, construction, and manufacturing industries. Hospitals and ambulatory health services companies continued to hire workers, together adding around 25,000 of the 45,000 jobs added in the health care sector. Restaurants and bars added 38,000 new workers, and the construction industry added 30,000. Manufacturers added 25,000 new employees in December, capping off a year in which factory employment rose by a total of 180,000 workers.
Though employees are being hired, the number of unemployed Americans continues to hold steady. 12.2 million U.S. workers are currently counted as unemployed, a number that is actually slightly higher than the 12 million counted in November 2012. The unemployment rate also held steady at 7.8%, the same number the rate has been at for the last four months, excepting a small uptick to 7.9% in October.
The unemployment numbers do look good when taking a longer view, however. The unemployment rate in December 2011 was at 8.5%, while the number of unemployed Americans was nearly one million higher, at 13 million.