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U.S. adds 155,000 jobs in December, jobless rate steady at 7.8 percent

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) -- The economy of the United States added 155,000 jobs in the month of December, while the country's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

With 12.2 million people unemployed, the U.S. finished off the year by adding another 155,000 jobs in December, maintaing a slow but steady pace throughout the year. However, the long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 4.8 million and accounted for 39.1 percent of the unemployed.

The unemployment rate showed to be stable as well in the last months of 2012, remaining at or near the 7.8 percent mark since September, which has been the lowest since January 2009.

Meanwhile, the initial claims for unemployment insurance in the U.S. rose by 10,000 to 372,000 in the week ending December 29, according to the U.S. Labor Department (DOL). The 4-week moving average was 360,000, an increase of 250 from the previous week's revised average of 359,750.

The number of people who continued to collect unemployment benefits under regular state unemployment programs increased by 44,000 to 3,245,000 during the week ending December 22. The number does not include workers receiving extended benefits under federal programs. The 4-week moving average was 3,224,250, an increase of 6,500 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,217,750.

In total, the U.S. added approximately 1.8 million jobs in 2012, a similar number to that of 2011.

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