December was a somewhat positive month for U.S. jobs, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
The U.S. economy added 155,000 jobs in December, roughly enough to keep pace with labor force growth, keeping the unemployment rate at 7.8% – unchanged from November's revised rate, the bureau said Friday morning. Health care was the sector with the greatest jump, with 45,000 jobs added.
The gain is slightly above the average monthly gain for 2012 and 2011, which was 153,000 per month, the bureau says.
As you mull these numbers, here's something to consider: They include those you might call the hopelessly unemployed, those who say they want a job but haven't searched for one in at least a year. CNNMoney reports that number is above 3.3 million, higher than the 2.5 million recorded five years ago, before a recession began. Who are they, and why have they given up? Check out this report from CNNMoney's Annalyn Kurtz.