2 Feb 2013

US jobless rate rising

7:27 am on 2 February 2013

The jobless rate in the United States rose in January, but the labour market had a better year in 2012 than previously estimated.

The Labor Department reported on Friday that the jobless rate rose to 7.9% from 7.8% in December, but monthly job growth averaged 181,000 in 2012.

The economy added 157,000 jobs after a revised reading of 196,000 in Decmber.

AAP reports the revisions revealed the labour market was far stronger than thought.

The private sector added jobs for the 35th consecutive month, at 166,000 jobs. Government jobs fell by 9000.

There was little change in manufacturing employment, which has been essentially flat since July 2012.

The White House said the latest data showed further healing from the worst recession since the Great Depression, but "more work needs to be done".

The number of unemployed, based on a separate household survey from the one producing the job creation numbers, rose by a little more than 100,000, to 12.33 million.