Employers in the United States added 137,000 jobs in December, that was less than the 175,000 that economists had predicted. But there was good news as November’s figures were revised upwards to 137,000 from 112,000. That means that for all of last year, the US unemployment rate was 5.5% and 2.2 million jobs were added in the US, which is the the best growth since 1999. However, the US has yet to regain all the jobs lost in the last recession that started in March of 2001 and lasted until the following December.
The figures show that the job gains were fairly broad-based in December, but one striking exception was in the service sector, specifically in the retail trade where 19,600 jobs were lost. Analysts had said before the report was issued that retailers were using fewer seasonal workers to handle the Thanksgiving-through-Christmas holiday sales season. Jobs have now been created for 16 straight months through to December. President Bush credits his tax cuts with boosting the economy and the number of people being hired.