Jan. 04, 2013 -- The economy is slowly improving, according to the new jobs report released Friday by the Department of Labor.
Unemployment remained virtually the same at 7.8 percent, from 7.7 percent in November. It dropped below 8 percent in September for the first time in nearly four years.
There were 12.2 million unemployed workers, compared with 12 million unemployed workers in November.
The economy added approximately 155,000 nonfarm jobs in December. The Department of Labor revised nonfarm job gains in November to 161,000 from an original estimate of 146,000.
Employment in healthcare, food services and drinking places, construction and manufacturing increased in Novemberr, while employment in retail industries, mining, financial services and other major industries showed little change.
The Hispanic unemployment rate remains higher than the national average at 9.6 percent, down slightly from the Hispanic unemployment rate of 10 percent in November.
Determining the number of jobs that were created in December is more complicated than normal because of seasonal holiday hiring.