U.S. Unemployment Rises To 7.9% As Economy Adds 157,000 Jobs

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. economy continues to add jobs, but not at a fast enough pace to help millions of unemployed Americans.

The U.S. unemployment rate rose 0.1 percent to 7.9% for January, according to statistics released this morning by the federal Department of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate jump comes even as the economy added 157,000 jobs over the month, slightly less than analysts had predicted.

“January’s report marks 35 consecutive months of private sector job growth totaling more than 6.1 million jobs,” said Acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris. “Today’s report shows that the economy gained 2.25 million private sector jobs in 2012, which includes an annual revision to the survey that resulted in an additional 424,000 jobs.”

The largest job growth in January occurred in construction (+28,000), health care (+23,000) and the wholesale trade (+15,000).

According to the numbers, 12.3 million Americans are counted among the unemployed, with 4.7 million looking for work for 27 weeks or more. Another 2.4 million are considered marginally attached to the work force – people who do not have jobs and who had looked for work at some point in the past year but not in the last four weeks.

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