The new year started off with an old story: Employment grew again in January but not at a pace able to lower the jobless rate.
Nonfarm payrolls rose 157,000 for the first month of 2013 while the unemployment rate edged higher to 7.9 percent, news unlikely to alter the Federal Reserve's monetary policy or instill confidence that the recovery is gaining steam.
Economists were looking for 160,000 net new jobs created with the unemployment rate holding steady at 7.8 percent.
The ho-hum jobs numbers for January were accompanied by substantial revisions higher for previous months, according to the report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Traders reacted positively to the report, providing a healthy gain at the market open.
"The market certainly likes it," said Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab. The revisions "may be the real bright spot of the report."
A report earlier this week indicated that third-quarter growth actually contracted 0.1 percent, but Friday's jobs numbers contradicted the gross domestic product read.
But November job creation rose from the originally reported 161,000 to 247,000, while December was pushed upward to 196,000 from 155,000.Page 1 of 4 | Next Page