Steady US hiring expected last month despite cliff
By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. employers likely kept hiring last month at a modest but steady pace, despite tense negotiations that pushed the economy to the brink of the fiscal cliff.
Economists forecast that employers added 155,000 jobs in December, according to a survey by FactSet. That would be slightly higher than November's 148,000. The unemployment rate is projected to remain at 7.7 percent.
Stable hiring would mean the job market held up during the talks between Congress and the White House over tax increases and spending cuts that were not resolved until the new year.
A trio of encouraging reports Thursday on private hiring and layoffs suggested companies did not panic last month, although the Labor Department report will offer a more accurate measure of how businesses responded to the uncertainty in Washington.