The U.S. created 148,000 jobs in December, the slowest pace in three months. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted a 198,000 increase in nonfarm jobs.
The unemployment rate remained steady at 4.1% for the third straight month. Worker pay increased 2.5% from December 2016 to December 2017, up from 2.4% in the prior month.
The average workweek was flat at 34.5 hours. October and November job gains were trimmed by a net 9,000 jobs due to revisions.