200,000 jobs were added in December, pushing the unemployment rate, down to 8.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Job gains occurred in transportation and warehousing, retail trade, manufacturing, health care, and mining.
The jobless rate continued its downward trend declining by 0.6 percent since August, as 100,000 jobs or more were added in each of the last six months. That hasn’t happened since April 2006, according to the Associated Press.
Over the past 12 months, nonfarm payrolls have risen by 1.6 million jobs, fueled by the private sector which added 212,000 jobs in December and 1.9 million for the year. 280,000 government jobs were cut in 2011.