The US economy added 157,000 jobs last month, which was slightly below forecasts, but the number of new jobs at the end of 2012 was revised up significantly, official data has shown.
In November and December, the Labour Department's revised figures showed that 127,000 more jobs were created than initially thought.
But the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9% in January, from 7.8% in December. In 2012, an average of 181,000 jobs a month were created, the data showed.
The Labour Department said that in January, jobs were created in retail, construction, healthcare and wholesale trade, but jobs were lost in transportation and warehousing.
Employment in retail rose by 33,000, compared with an average monthly gain of 20,000 in 2012.
Employment in construction rose by 28,000. The Labour Department said that the industry had created 296,000 jobs since falling to a low in January 2011, but added that the current level of employment was still some two million below its previous peak in April 2006.
Healthcare added 23,000 jobs in January, while wholesale trade added 15,000. There was little change in manufacturing employment, which has been essentially flat since July 2012.
One reason for the increase in jobs within the US can be attributed to the rise in online recruitment sites.
The US online recruitment market experienced significant growth throughout the 2000s, until the Great Recession hit and companies put hiring on hold, hurting demand for industry services. In the five years to 2012, it has been estimated that revenue for the industry has declined at an average rate of 3.7% per year to $1.6 billion.
While the number of sites focusing on niche markets has increased in recent years, the recession and its impact on profit have recently contributed to some industry consolidation. In the five years to 2012, the number of industry firms has declined at an annualised rate of 1.3% to 2,790.
In August 2010, for example, former major player Yahoo sold its HotJobs subsidiary to Monster Worldwide for $225.0 million. Similarly, Indeed.com announced plans to be acquired by Japan-based Recruit Co. Ltd. in September 2012.
For more information on the US online recruitment market, see the latest research: US Online Recruitment Market
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