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The Latest and Greatest about Jobs

Let’s face it, the economy isn’t turned around yet.  Things are still pretty sluggish and a lot of people are still applying for jobs by the hundreds with nothing to show for it.

When in a job search and applying for jobs, people always say things like “stay positive” and “keep your chin up.”  Easier said than done.

Actually, it is easier when there is good news about jobs and the economy and recently there has been some good news that will help any job applicant “stay positive” and “keep their chin up.”

The U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs in January, according to a Labor Department report.

The unemployment rate was 7.9% in January, and 12.3 million people were counted as unemployed. Overall, hiring is keeping pace with population growth, but the Labor Department noted that the unemployment rate has barely changed since September.

Economists surveyed by CNNMoney are expecting job growth to continue in 2013 at roughly the same pace as last year, when the economy added 2.2 million jobs. They predict the unemployment rate will end the year slightly down, at 7.5%.

Construction hiring could be one of the highlights this year. It was the single hardest hit sector in the recession but has recently shown some signs of life. In January, construction firms added 28,000 jobs, reflecting a stronger housing market and rebuilding efforts after Superstorm Sandy.

Construction alone could account for roughly a quarter of all the jobs added in 2013.

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In January, health care continued to be a strong sector for job growth, adding 23,000 jobs. Most of those jobs were in ambulatory health care services, a category that includes doctors’ offices and outpatient care centers.

Retail added 33,000 jobs, with about a third of those gains at clothing stores.

Manufacturers added about 4,000 jobs, but the Labor Department noted that employment in this sector has changed little since July.

The Labor Department also released revisions to its 2012 data, showing the economy added 335,000 more jobs during the year than originally reported.

Overall, the U.S. economy lost 8.8 million jobs in the financial crisis, and is still down about 3.2 million jobs from the labor market’s height in January 2008.

Despite jobs not being added at rapid rates, things are slowly headed in the right direction.  So, not to sound cliche, but here’s a little advice: stay positive and keep your chin up.