US added 157,000 jobs last month

US employment ticked up in January, as it showed signs that the economy's muted recovery was on track.

The world’s largest economy added 157,000 jobs in January, according to official data from the Labour Department out today. The data also showed 127,000 more jobs were created in November and December than previously thought.

However, the unemployment rate edged up to 7.9 per cent last month from 7.8 per cent in December.

Over 2012 as a whole, the data showed that 181,000 jobs were created on average a month.

The unemployment data follows Wednesday’s US GDP data, which showed that the economy contracted by an annualised 0.1 per cent in the fourth quarter, largely because of a sharp slowdown in the pace of inventory accumulation and a plunge in defence spending.