Job growth in December still anemic; official unemployment rate unchanged

"The U.S. economy is just muddling through," said Tom di Galoma, managing director at Navigate Advisors in Stamford, Connecticut. And that's the optimistic take. The economy added 155,000 jobs in December which has been the average gain for the year. Reuters: The jobless rate held steady at 7.8 percent in December, down nearly a percentage point from a year earlier but still well above the average rate over the last 60 years of about 6 percent. The Labor Department raised its estimate for the unemployment rate in November by a tenth of a point to 7.8 percent, citing a slight change in the labor market's seasonal swings. Most economists expect the U.S. economy will be held back by tax hikes this year as well as by weak spending by households and businesses, which are still trying to reduce their debt burdens. Friday's data nonetheless gave signals of some momentum in the labor market's recovery from the 2007-09 recession. Gains in employment were distributed broadly...(Read Full Post)