The nation's unemployment rate ticked down to 5.6 percent in December, and the U.S. economy added 252,000 jobs last month, according to the Labor Department. The December unemployment rate dropped from 5.8 percent in November.
The jobs added in October and November were also revised, increasing by 50,000.
Fewer people searching for work was partly behind the decline in the December unemployment rate. Last month's labor force participation rate decreased to 62.7 percent from 62.8 percent in November.
For private sector workers, meanwhile, there was a 5-cent drop in average hourly earnings, bringing them to $24.57. Wages increased just 1.7 percent over the past year.