The Norman Transcript

Opinion

January 6, 2013

Fiscal cliff talksdidn’t diminish hiring

NORMAN — The intense fiscal cliff negotiations and upcoming economic uncertainties didn’t have much impact on the nation’s hiring this past month. December hiring even seemed a bit more aggressive at year’s end.

Businesses were apparently counting on a Congressional resolution and did their hiring anyway. The Associated Press reports a payroll provider estimates businesses added 215,000 jobs in December, the most in 10 months. On Friday, the government pared that down some, saying about 155,000 jobs were filled.

Earlier, in November, nearly 161,000 jobs were added. Both hiring figures weren’t enough to move the needle on the nation’s 7.8 percent unemployment rate.

The number of announced job cuts was down, too. It was down 43 percent in December from November and overall planned layoffs in 2012 hit the lowest level since 1997, according to an Associated Press news source.

Hiring has been steady but modest as the economy has grown slowly since the recession ended more than three years ago, according to the Associated Press. For 2012, employers added 1.84 million jobs, an average of 153,000 jobs a month, roughly matching the job totals for 2011.

Construction, probably lead by repair work from super storm Sandy and new construction, paced the hiring. Manufacturers added thousands of jobs.

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