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December jobs numbers remained steady, with the unemployment rate for the month holding at 7.8 percent. A total of 155,000 jobs were added for the month.

There had been fears that the fiscal cliff impasse was going to drive unemployment higher. But, the Los Angeles Times says, rebuilding following Hurricane Sandy probably had a positive impact on hiring in the construction area, with 30,000 jobs added. Manufacturing numbers were aided by robust car sales, with 14.5 million cars sold, a 13 percent increase on the year.

Also on the good side: layoffs are on the decline, the housing market is picking up, and fewer people are signing up for unemployment benefits.

But overall, hiring isn’t picking up fast enough to surpass 2011 figures, the article notes. USA Today has a chart that showcases the decline in the unemployment rate over the past year. But, keep in mind, some people have left the workforce. Overall, the country added 1.8 million jobs for the year, the same total as 2011. According to CBS News, the five years of this “Great Recession” have seen a loss of 3.9 million jobs, 75 percent from the private sector. There were eight million job losses in 2008 and 2009 with 4.7 million recovered over the past three years.

Experts predict that the unemployment rate will fall a little more in 2013, to 7.7 percent. CBS provides a breakdown of the sectors that are hiring the most (retail lost 11,000 jobs).

a numberWith these numbers in mind, people are getting very resourceful about making money, starting jobs, creating jobs, and doing a little something on the side to make some extra cash. We’ve written about of people who are doing just that (and we’re always looking for more great ideas).

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