U.S. Economy Adds 74,000 Jobs, Jobless Rate Falls to 6.7%

December employment situation report unemployment rate hiring
Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images

By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON -- U.S. employers hired the fewest workers in almost three years in December, but the setback was likely to be temporary amid signs that cold weather conditions might have had an impact.

Nonfarm payrolls rose only 74,000 last month, the smallest increase since January 2011, and the unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage point to 6.7 percent, the Labor Department said Friday. The unemployment rate was the lowest since October 2008 and in part reflected people leaving the labor force.