December saw the U.S. economy add just 74,000 jobs, the second-lowest monthly figure recorded throughout the recovery so far. It caps off a year that registered a 2.2-million-job expansion, unemployment falling to 6.7 percent and a more consistent as well as geographically broadening expansion. While trade and manufacturing were some of December’s largest winners, over the course of the 2013, the core subsectors of PBS, leisure and hospitality, retail trade and education and health were dominant, as government continued to see small and unstable contractions.
That said, challenges still remain. Total unemployment remains elevated at 13.1 percent, while the labor force participation rate dropped by 20 points to just 62.8 percent. However, we expect that the recovery will stay on course as momentum builds on a monthly basis and an increasing number of markets see potential begin to be realized.
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