For the first Friday of 2013, the last jobs numbers of 2012 continued to come in as they had for the rest of the year, with steady, solid gains.
Employers added 155,000 jobs to the economy in December, according to the official Federal jobs report, numbers that closely mirrored expectations. The biggest job gains were in the education and healthcare sectors, though manufacturing and construction saw welcome gains too. Overall, the unemployment rate also remained at 7.8%, the same level as the revised unemployment rate from November, as the chart from Steve Benen makes clear below.
The private sector had its 34th consecutive month of positive jobs numbers under President Obama, which was great news for privately owned businesses.
Unfortunately, as Steve Benen also points out in his evaluation of the monthly jobs numbers, once again, "…austerity measures undermined the employment landscape -- while America's private sector added 168,000 jobs in December, the public sector lost 13,000 jobs, including over 11,000 teachers."
The overall annual roundup for 2012 looked surprisingly good. As Shobhana Chandra from Bloomberg News noted, "For all of 2012, the economy created 1.84 million jobs, matching the gain in 2011. It’s the best back-to-back reading since 2005-2006."