In January, the U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs, according to data released on Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate remained essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent.

Last month’s numbers fell below December’s revised 196,000 added positions and 2012’s average of 181,000 per month. Even though job growth at the end of last year encouraged investors and business recruiting efforts, recent employment numbers are relatively weak compared to previous recovery periods, The New York Times notes.

Construction saw significant gains in January, with employment increasing by 28,000. Retail, healthcare and wholesale also saw more jobs, while transportation and warehousing lost 14,000 positions.

Worker confidence in January dipped as well, according to Randstad. The HR administration software provider’s index declined 3.3 points last month, indicating the workforce is feeling uncertain about the job market and the economy. Only about one-quarter of the 1,375 employees surveyed believed the economy is getting stronger.

Jim Link, Randstad’s managing director, suggested the payroll tax cut increase likely played a significant role in the decline in worker confidence.

Despite a growing amount of uncertainty, 72 percent of employees felt secure in their current positions and one-third are still likely to change jobs this year.

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