According to a government report, U.S. employers added 167,000 workers to payrolls and increased hourly wages in December.
The report issued Friday by the U.S. Labor Department showed that service-producing industries did the most hiring, contributing 178,000 new jobs in December, while retailers and manufacturers mostly shed jobs.
According to the report, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.5 percent.
The report showed hourly earnings also rose 0.5 percent, the biggest increase since April.
Analysts say growth in the job market indicates a growing economy, but that higher wages increase the risk of inflation.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.