Today's jobs numbers fell just slightly below the expectations of economists: 155,000 jobs were added last month, when 160,000 had been expected, the Wall Street Journal reports. The unemployment rate held steady at 7.8%; last month's initial rate of 7.7% was revised upward. Some observations from the AP:
- Though jobs numbers were below expectations, the "steady gain" proves that hiring continued even during the fiscal cliff negotiations in DC. But the average number of jobs added monthly in 2012—153,000—was the same as that in 2011.
- Construction and manufacturing added 30,000 jobs, the most in 15 months, reflecting the rebuilding efforts after superstorm Sandy.
"Hiring should be stronger this far into a recovery," writes Kathleen Madigan in the Journal