Employers added 157,000 jobs in January and 127,000 more positions at the end of 2012 than previously reported, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday.
The unemployment rate was 7.9 percent, which is 0.1 percent higher than December. The unemployment rate has been at or near that level since September 2012. In January, the nation's job gains occurred in retail trade, construction, health care, and wholesale trade, while employment edged down in transportation and warehousing, the report said.
But the report showed hiring was stronger at the end of last year than previously thought. In December, employers increased their payrolls by 196,000 jobs, up from the agency's initial estimate of 155,000. In November, employers added 247,000 jobs, which is above the previous estimate of 161,000.
The U.S. labor market has been very resilient in recent months," Harm Bandholz, chief U.S. economist at UniCredit Group in New York, told Bloomberg News . "The big story is all the upward revisions to the previous months, which gives the report a real positive spin. All these concerns that the fiscal uncertainty deterred businesses from hiring, they certainly haven't materialized."
The jobs report came on the heels of news this week that the U.S. economy unexpectedly shrank from October through December for the first time since the recession in 2009. Hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles, the economy contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter.