The US economy added 145,000 jobs last month, capping a year of solid but slowing growth, official figures show.
Hiring at retail and health care firms drove the gains, which pushed the US labour market to a 10th year of expansion.While the country's 3.5% unemployment rate remained at historic lows, earnings growth slowed from November.
The average hourly wage rose at an annual rate of 2.9%, down from November's rate of 3.1%.
December's job gains mark a slowdown from the prior month, when employers added 256,000 positions.
The number of manufacturing jobs also fell by 12,000, compared with a rise of 58,000 in November, which coincided with the end of a labour strike at General Motors.
The Labor Department also revised down data for October and November to show 14,000 fewer jobs were created than previously estimated.