U.S. oil and natural gas producers added jobs in December and January as drillers continued to return to the well pad with crude prices holding near 18 month highs, according to U.S. jobs data on Friday.Oil and gas extraction jobs increased by 100 to 177,400 in January, while support services jobs increased by 600 to 195,200 in December, its second increase in a row, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.The energy data was contained in a Labor Department report that also said U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 227,000 jobs last month, the largest gain in four months, while the unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.8 percent.The BLS only has support services jobs data through December, while oil and gas extraction data is available through January.
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