UNDATED (CNN) -- The Labor Department numbers are out this morning and they show hiring was stronger in the last two years than previously thought. But, the nation's unemployment rate did rise fractionally. But the report is mostly upbeat from the Labor Department.
The job market held steady in January with employers adding 157,000 jobs. But the unemployment rate ticked up from 7.8 to 7.9. LaToya Patrick is one of America's estimated 12-million unemployed workers. She's been looking for a job since the fall, after she graduated with a master's degree. She says, "I'm not gonna lie, it's been really tough sometimes, when you're home you feel like, you know I spent all this time going to school and it's like nobody's giving you a chance."
Economists say until more people like LaToya finds jobs, the economy will continue to suffer. The government announced Wednesday the economy shrank last quarter for the first time in three years.
One day after the dismal GDP report, the president disbanded his jobs council, a group of CEO's tasked with finding new ways to create jobs. That gave Republicans on Capitol Hill new ammunition to criticize him.
A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement: "The president treated his jobs council as more of a nuisance than a vehicle to spur job creation."
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says, "When we hear, some of the somewhat ridiculous criticisms about this, they come from people on Capitol Hill who have consistently ignored every growth initiative and job creation initiative the president has put forward."
The White House says the group was only intended to last two years. During the two-year tenure of the jobs council, the group met four times with the last meeting coming more than a year ago.