Nearly all industry sectors benefited from the robust jobs in December, with health care and education leading the way by adding 82,000 to their payrolls. That was the biggest jump since February 2012. More than 50,000 of those gains came from health care, including doctors' offices, hospitals, home health care services and medical clinics.
The leisure and hospitality category added 55,000 jobs. The category includes restaurants, bars, hotels and entertainment — all of which recorded jobs gains.
Builders added 38,000 construction jobs, while manufacturers increased their payrolls by 32,000 workers.
Overall, U.S. employers added 312,000 jobs in December. The unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent, but that's because more people came off the sidelines to look for jobs, the Labor Department said Friday.