Even with the prospect of hurtling off the "fiscal cliff," the U.S. job market made slight gains in December.
The December U.S. jobs report—released this morning—indicates the nation's economy added 155,000 jobs in the final month of 2012, above earlier predictions and slightly above the 2012 monthly average of 153,000 new jobs per month.
The unemployment rate remained unchanged in December, staying steady at 7.8 percent.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the unemployment rate rose slightly for adult women, edging up to 7.3 percent, while the rates for adult men (7.2 percent), teenagers (23.5 percent), whites (6.9 percent), and Hispanics (9.6 percent) showed little or no change.
Payroll provider ADP released its own private-sector survey report Thursday that showed businesses added 215,000 jobs in December, the most in 10 months and much higher than November's total of 148,000.
The nation's construction industry added 30,000 new jobs in December, likely fueled by rebuilding projects in New York and New Jersey, following superstorm Sandy. In addition to the construction jobs, manufacturing added 25,000 jobs, the highest gains in that sector in nine months.