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Unemployment Holds Steady Despite Fiscal Cliff Threat

The unemployment rate remained steady at 7.8 percent in December despite the looming threat of going over the fiscal cliff.

The nation's unemployment rate didn't rise in December, even though the overwhelming threat of going over the fiscal cliff loomed large throughout the month.

Unemployment remained steady at 7.8 percent, according to data released Friday, the Hartford Courant reported, and payroll grew by 155,000, slightly less than the 161,000 jobs created in November. 

The report predicts a 2 percent growth in the economy for 2013, which is not seen by experts as enough to make a significant dent in the recession.

That rate of growth will keep the country "just muddling through," Tom di Galoma, managing director at Navigate Advisors in Stamford told The Courant.

It could have been worse. Had Congress not come to a last-minute deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, taxes would have rose for almost everyone and thousands of people could have lost their unemployment benefits.

In Connecticut, the unemployment rate for November (the most current figures available) was 8.8 percent and, in Fairfield, it was 6.9 percent. 

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