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us jobs report

According to the new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US economy added 151,000 jobs in January 2016.

The new jobs helped to push the US unemployment rate down to 4.9%.

The number was lower than expected and is a sharp slowdown from December 2015, when 292,000 jobs were added.

Job losses in transport and education weighed on the numbers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

Last week, figures showed that US economic growth slowed to an annual rate 0.7% in the final three months of 2015, from 2% in the previous quarter.

Early trading on Wall Street suggests investors are concerned that the slowdown in job creation could be a further signal of a weakening US economy. The main Dow Jones was down 189 points, or 1.2%, at 16,227.43 in early-afternoon trading.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

However, some analysts focused on the positive – that weaker job numbers meant another rise in interest rates was unlikely for now.

President Barack Obama highlighted the low unemployment rate as he plugged aspects of his spending bill to be proposed next week. He plans to push for greater investment in clean energy, where jobs growth has been strong.

The president acknowledged that there was still anxiety among Americans, but said the US economy was “stronger and more durable” then before the financial crisis.

Retailing saw the highest number of jobs created in January, at 58,000, with healthcare adding 37,000 and manufacturing 29,000.

Some 39,000 jobs were lost in private education services, however, with a further 20,000 lost in transport and warehousing.

The net job creation pushed the unemployment rate below 5% – where it had stood for the previous three months – to its lowest level since early 2008.

The labor participation rate was unchanged, suggesting fewer people are dropping out of the labor market – a key problem during the financial crisis.

The average hourly rate rose by 12 cents, or 0.5%, to $25.39.

Asian shares were in mixed territory on February 5 ahead of a closely watched US monthly jobs report.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed down 1.32% to 16,819.59 points as a stronger yen against the dollar hurt the country’s big exporters for a second day.

Toyota and Honda shares finished the day down about 2%, while Mazda shed nearly 5%.

At the close of trade, Toyota reported a 4.7% rise in net income for the three months to December.Asian stock markets February 2016

However, the company’s operating profit for the quarter fell by 5.3%, missing forecasts.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 spent the day in negative territory and closed flat, down 0.08% to 16,819.59.

The country’s big lenders had weighed on the market and analysts said traders were being cautious ahead of a US jobs report due out later.

Energy companies regained lost territory late in the day, however, with Woodside finishing up 0.41% and rival Santos up 2.2%. Mining giant BHP finished up close to 5%.

Official numbers released earlier showed Australia’s retail sales had come in flat for the month of December – a 0.4% gain was expected.

However, analysts said the numbers still supported economic growth.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was up 0.4% to 19,255.88 points in afternoon trade, while the mainland’s benchmark Shanghai Composite closed down 0.63% to 2,763.49.

South Korea’s Kospi index closed flat, up just 0.08% to 1,917.79.

The US economy added 292,000 jobs in December 2015, beating expectations, the Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows.

The data also showed the jobless rate held at its seven-and-a-half year low of 5%.US jobs report December 2015

Professional and business services, construction, health care, and food services all saw job increases.

As well as the strong December jobs figures, US employment figures for October and November 2015 were revised up sharply to show 50,000 more jobs created than previously reported.

The robust figures come after the first US interest rate rise in nearly 10 years in December 2015.

The Federal Reserve raised overnight interest rates last month by a quarter of a percent to between 0.25% and 0.50%.

Wall Street closed lower after reports that the US unemployment rate fell to 5.1% last month, the lowest since April 2008.

The latest Labor Department figures also showed the US added 173,000 jobs in August. The figure was below expectations, but the totals for June and July were revised up.Wall Street after jobs report

The Dow Jones fell 272.38 points, or 1.66%, to 16,102.38, while the S&P 500 dropped 29.91 points to 1,921.22.

The NASDAQ was down 49.58 points at 4,683.92.

The latest jobs report is the last before the Federal Reserve meets later this month to decide whether to increase interest rates.