The jobs recovery continued to crawl forward in January, as employers hired 157,000 workers, according to figures released Friday by the U.S. Labor Department. Job growth at that level is weaker than in December, when employers stateside added 196,000 jobs. Meanwhile, hiring is barely keeping pace with population growth. The unemployment rate was 7.9% in January, as 12.3 million people were counted as unemployed. Construction was one of the strongest sectors, adding 28,000 jobs and reflecting a stronger housing market and rebuilding efforts after Superstorm Sandy. Health care added 23,000 jobs, mostly in ambulatory health care services, which includes doctors' offices and outpatient care centers. Retail added 33,000 jobs, with about a third of those gains at clothing stores. Manufacturers added about 4,000 jobs, but the department noted that employment in this sector has changed little since July. The U.S. government continued to cut jobs for the fourth month in a row. The U.S. Labor Department also released revisions to its 2012 data, showing the economy added 335,000 more jobs during the year than originally reported. It's a recovery, but it's still a slow one. The U.S. economy lost 8.8 million jobs in the financial crisis, and is still down about 3.2 million jobs from the labour market's height in January 2008.