Washington, Feb 2 (IANS) The US unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent in January from 7.8 percent in December 2012, the US Labor Department said Friday.
Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 157,000 in January, with the private sector creating 166,000 jobs last month. Governments at all levels shed 9,000 jobs last month against the background of government spending cuts, reported Xinhua.
In January, the number of total unemployed Americans stood at 12.3 million, up from 12.2 million in December.
Employment rose in various sectors last month, including construction, manufacturing, transportation, utilities and health care, the report said.
The US economy has added private sector jobs for 35 straight months, and a total of 6.1 million jobs having been created over that period.
More work remains to be done but the employment report provides further evidence that the US economy is recovering from the worst downturn since the Great Depression, Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said in a statement.
"It is critical that we pursue the policies needed to build an economy that works for the middle class as we continue to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007," the top White House economist said.