The economy added 155,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department reported Friday morning, around what analysts expected.
The solid number suggests the recovery remains on track, despite fears that superstorm Sandy, and anxiety over the fiscal cliff, could damage job growth. But the economy is still creating jobs at too slow a pace to bring down joblessness to an acceptable level any time soon.
The unemployment rate for December ticked up to 7.8% from the 7.7% figure the Labor Department had previously reported for November. However, officials adjusted November's rate this month to reflect updated conditions and raised it to 7.8%, meaning that, in fact, the unemployment rate remained constant.
"While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression.," Alan Krueger, the White House's top economic adviser, said in a statement. "It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007."