U.S. economy adds 155K jobs, rate stays at 7.8 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government's December jobs report highlight a fresh batch off economic data Friday morning.

It shows U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate remained at 7.8 percent.

The Labor Department report revised November's rate up from an initial estimate of 7.7 percent. Robust hiring in manufacturing and construction fueled the gains.

Also Friday, the Commerce Department says factory orders were flat in November. Durable goods, everything from autos to steel, rose 0.8 percent while nondurable goods fell 0.6 percent, reflecting falling petroleum prices.

Orders for core capital goods, a category considered a proxy for business investment plans increased a solid 2.6 percent after a 3 percent increase in October which had been the strongest gain in 10 months.

And a private sector report finds the U.S. service sector picking up. The Institute for Supply Management says its index of non-manufacturing activity rose to 56.1 in December. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.


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