Unemployment Rate Falls Below 5 Percent For First Time Since 2008

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The economy added 151,000 jobs in January while the unemployment rate dipped slightly to 4.9 percent, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Analysts had expected 190,000 jobs to be added. That’s the first time the unemployment rate has been below 5 percent since 2008.

December’s jobs report, which originally showed an addition of 292,000 jobs, was revised down to 262,000.

The biggest gains in January were in retail (58,000), food and drink places (47,000), health care (37,000), manufacturing (29,000), and financial activities (18,000). Manufacturing had barely added any jobs in 2015.

Average hourly earnings for all employees rose by 12 cents in January, about a 0.5 percent increase, but have just risen 2.5 percent over the last year.