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.
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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.
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