The nation's jobless rate ticked up in January to 7.9 percent on the heels of the news that the U.S. economy shrank at a 0.1 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2012, the first contraction since the recession ended in 2009.
The U.S economy reportedly added 157,000 new jobs in January, with particular growth in the retail, construction and health care industries. But overall growth was pulled down by a net loss of 9,000 government jobs. The transportation and warehousing industries also showed declines.
For all of 2012, the economy added an average of 181,000 jobs a month.
Still, payrolls aren't keeping pace with the unemployment rate, which reveals that at least 12.3 million Americans who wanted a job couldn't find one last month.