The unemployment rate declined from 7% to 6.7% in December, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday (10 January, 2014).
However, the rate of job creation slowed, with non-farm payroll employment increasing by just 74,000 and the reduction in the headline unemployment rate due largely due to people stopping looking for work.
Analysts noted that the severe weather could be the cause of poor job creation.
At 3.9m the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) showed little change.
In terms of sector, the big winners were employment in retail trade, which increased by 55,000 in December, and employment in professional and business services, which added 19,000 jobs. The big losers were construction employment, which moved down 16,000, and healthcare, which dropped 6,000. -
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