Job seeker Don Taylor reaches to shake the hand of US Forest Service recruiter Henrietta Haaziq at the Diversity Job Fair during the NAACP's 102nd annual national convention at the Los Angeles Convention Center on July 27, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. California's state unemployment rate for June rose slightly to 11.8 percent even as employers added workers. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)


WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added 157,000 jobs in January and hiring was stronger over the past two years than previously thought, providing reassurance that the job market held steady while economic growth sputtered.

African-American unemployment dipped slightly from 14 percent to 13.8  and black teen joblessness also fell from 40.5 to 37.8 percent.

The mostly upbeat Labor Department report included one discouraging sign: the unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in December. The unemployment rate is calculated from a survey of households, while job gains come from a survey of employers.

The hiring picture over the past two years looked better after the department’s annual revisions. Those showed employers added an average of roughly 180,000 jobs per month in 2012 and 2011, up from previous estimates of about 150,000. And hiring was stronger at the end of last year, averaging 200,000 new jobs in the final three months.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.