The U.S. economy didn’t close on such a bad note in 2011.
A forceful 200,000 new jobs were added to the economy in December, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Friday.
The nation’s unemployment rate fell to 8.5 % in December, from 8.7% in November, the government said. The Labor Department revised the number of new jobs added in November to 100,000, from 120,000.
December was the sixth consecutive month that the economy added at least 100,000 new jobs, but the Japan earthquake and debt ceiling crisis of the spring and summer slowed progress significantly.
“People were very much thinking that the sky was falling,â€ said Tom Porcelli, an economist at RBC Capital Markets. “It’s no small victory that we’re up here, even with all these headwinds.â€