The national unemployment rate held steadyin December at 7.8 percent, and the economy added 155,000 jobs, leaders with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday.

The original unemployment rate for November was 7.7 percent, but leaders revised that to be 7.8 percent, where it has hovered since September.

Before the recession, a healthy unemployment rate was about 5 percent, but some experts have saidrecentlythat about 6 percent may be the new normal.


This news comes after last week’s news that Chattanooga’s unemployment rate fell to a four-year low in November.

The state’s unemployment rate for November decreased to 7.6 percent. That’s down from October’s revised rate of 8.2 percent.

Nationwide, employment increased in the health care, food services, construction and manufacturing industries.

Across the country, the number of unemployed people-12.2 million-didn’t change much, according to the labor department report.

The number of long-term unemployed people-who are jobless for 27 weeks or more-was also essentially unchanged at 4.8 million.

That group accounted for 39.1 percent of the unemployed population.

CNN reported that the economy added 1.84 million jobs in 2012.