Want a job? Ask Obama

By Jessica Dickler, CNNMoney.com staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- As economists and investors reel from a surprisingly weak jobs number, there are 3,300 people that may actually be cheering December's report.

That's the number of employees that were added to the federal government's payroll last month.

As job losses continued in construction, manufacturing, retail, leisure and hospitality, as well as at the state and local government level, the Federal government was one of the few areas that posted a job gain.

The federal government, excluding the U.S. Postal Service, has notched an increase in jobs for seven consecutive months bringing December's total to 2,167,000, up from 2,163,700 in November.

Alternatively, the cash-strapped Postal Service has slashed jobs, reduced overtime hours and proposed scrapping its Saturday delivery to cut costs but remains mired in debt.

Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute, attributes the modest increase in jobs with the federal government to the number of stimulus programs and packages aimed at fighting the recession along with ramped up efforts directed at the war in Afghanistan, which has had positive implications for employment at the Pentagon and in other areas of the country.

But a rise in employment as a result of those efforts is still a "dismal silver lining" to the overall jobs picture, cautioned Robert Brusca, chief economist at Fact and Opinion Economics.

"It's kind of like saying more people are dying so we have to hire more gravediggers," he said.

Overall, the Labor Department reported a loss of 85,000 jobs in December -- much worse than expected. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had expected no net gain or loss in payrolls in December. The economy has lost 7.2 million jobs since the start of 2008. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,960.57 -123.23 -0.72%
Nasdaq 4,449.56 -22.54 -0.50%
S&P 500 1,978.34 -9.64 -0.48%
Treasuries 2.47 -0.04 -1.59%
Data as of 11:29am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Facebook Inc 75.19 0.21 0.28%
Apple Inc 97.67 0.64 0.66%
Bank of America Corp... 15.59 -0.03 -0.19%
Ford Motor Co 17.62 -0.22 -1.23%
Applied Materials In... 21.23 -0.52 -2.41%
Data as of Jul 25

Sections

The rideshare app will launch in New York on Friday evening, as the city's taxi commission comes to terms with the technology. More

Americans with disabilities face huge financial hurdles and it starts early on, according to a recent report. More

Louisiana is now the top location for motion picture filming, supporting thousands of new jobs and small businesses. More

Americans with disabilities face huge financial hurdles and it starts early on, according to a recent report. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.