January 10, 2014 / 3:01 PM / 4 years ago

Fed's Lacker notes sharp fall in jobless rate in December

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Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker testifies before the House Financial Services Committee hearing on "Examining How the Dodd-Frank Act Could Result in More Taxpayer-Funded Bailouts" on Capitol Hill in Washington June 26, 2013.Yuri Gripas

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - The latest U.S. jobs data showed a sharp fall in the unemployment rate in December, a top Fed official said on Friday.

Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeffrey Lacker told a business group the data backed the view of substantial progress on unemployment.

He declined to answer an audience question about the 74,000 rise in nonfarm payrolls last month, the smallest increase in nearly three years, as he had not yet read the full jobs report. Lacker said he understood that there may have been special factors at play.

Reporting by Krista Hughes; Editing by James Dalgleish

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