The national economy created a muted 157,000 jobs in January, with many gains being in the retail, construction and health care fields, according to a jobs report this morning from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics.
The job gains were below the 2012 average of 181,000 and unemployment edged up a tenth of a percent from December to 7.9 percent nationally, according to the BLS. Unemployment is down from 8.3 percent a year ago.
Retail added about 33,000 jobs in January with motor vehicles, electronics and appliances, and clothing retailers seeing continued growth. Construction added 28,000 jobs, while health care added 23,000.
Transportation and warehousing lost 14,000 jobs, and manufacturing employment was largely unchanged, according to the BLS.
Earlier this week, the Census Bureau released durable goods manufacturing order and shipment information that illustrated overall gains and several key industries that saw large increases in December.