U.S. unemployment rose slightly to 7.9 percent, according to just-released federal figures. The economy, meanwhile, added 157,000 jobs.
Pre-Friday expectations were for the job rate to remain at 7.8 percent, CNBC reported, with the addition of 160,000 jobs.
By comparison, 155,000 jobs were added in December — mostly in food services, drinking establishments and health care — and the jobless rate stood at 7.8 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Economists are less than enthusiastic about the job recovery over the past months.
“We set a decent pace of hiring, roughly 150,000 a month for two years now,” said Stepheon Stanley, a chief economist at Pierpoint Securities, according to CNBC. “It’s not like we’re declining or flat-lining. We are creating jobs, but it’s not what you expect in a recovery. We haven’t had that burst of hiring.”