The economy added just 74,000 jobs in December while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Analysts had expected 196,000 jobs to be added. Revisions to the numbers for October and November increased the figures by 38,000 jobs, with October’s figure steady at 200,000 and November revised upward from 203,000 to 241,000.
Retail added 55,000 jobs in December and food service and drinking places added 9,000 jobs, while professional and business services added 19,000 jobs. Government employment fell by 13,000.
During 2013, the economy added an average of 182,000 jobs a month while the number of unemployed fell by 1.9 million people and the unemployment rate dropped by 1.2 percentage points. The private sector added a total of 2.2 million jobs last year, while the public sector shed 25,000 jobs.