December capped off 10 straight years of job gains in the U.S.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says businesses made 145,000 new hires last month.
That number fell short of Wall Street's expectations, despite notable job gains in the retail, health care and hospitality sectors. But the nation's unemployment rate remained steady at 3.5%.
Analysts say people shouldn't worry too much when they see the U.S. didn't add as many jobs as expected.
One economist told NBC News, "We really only need to add 100,000 jobs per month to keep pace with population growth, so when you keep that in mind and look at the jobs data over the past year, the labor market looks even more impressive."
In total, the U.S. economy added 2.1 million jobs in 2019 — roughly 600,000 less than it added the previous year.