According to Fox News business analyst Charles Payne, America is enduring “the most sluggish recovery we’ve ever had.”

The December jobs numbers are out and they back up Payne’s bleak assessment. The unemployment rate for the month was 7.8%, with 155,000 jobs created. About 30,000 of those were construction jobs related to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy. Economists had expected slightly higher job growth and slightly lower unemployment.

More numbers: 12.2 million remain unemployed. The labor participation rate is 63.3%. Black unemployment edged upward to 14.0%.

Payroll taxes went up on January 1 for about 80% of American workers, by about 2%.