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Job creation below expectations

WASHINGTON – The U.S. economy added 157,000 new jobs in January and the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.

The job creation was below analyst expectations of 165,000 and down from a revised 195,000 in December. The unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in December.

The pace of job creation is consistent with moderate growth and could ease concerns that the economy’s unexpected contraction in the final three months of last year was a sign another recession could be near.

In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday revised job gains for October, November and December sharply upward. The total for those three months was 603,000, compared to an initial 453,000.

Sectors that showed job gains in January included retail, construction and health care, while transportation and warehousing showed declines.

Los Angeles Times