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US employment figures remain unchanged

Unemployment figures remain constant as government struggles with fiscal cliff negotiations.
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2013 16:33
Private sector jobs saw an increase during the month of December [Reuters]

The unemployment rate in the US has held at 7.8 percent in December and remained unchanged for a constant four months.

US Labor Department figures released on Friday showed that tepid economic growth meant that jobs created during the month stood at a modest 155,000.

Employment figures have registered little improvement in the final quarter of 2012 as companies awaited the governement's decision to avert the economic crunch of the fiscal cliff.

The economy appears to have generated just enough new positions to have shown a slight pull down on the jobless rate.

Recovery of unemployment rates showed a slight improvement on November and pulled a monthly average for both 2011 and 2012 at 153,000.

Sticking with set patterns the private sector was the source of employment gains, adding 168,000 jobs in December, while government authorities at the federal and local levels continued to trim payrolls, by 13,000.

At that pace, the unemployment rate has crept lower from 9.1 per cent in January 2011 to 8.3 percent in January 2012 and now the 7.8 percent level where it has hovered since September.

The total number of the officially unemployed was little changed over the last quarter at 12.2 million.

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