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US Unemployment Falls To 8-Year Low

The US unemployment rate fell from 5% to 4.9% in January, the lowest level since February 2008, the Labor Department said today.

The economy added 151,000 jobs last month with wages rising as well. Average hourly earnings rose 0.5% month-over-month and 2.5% year-over-year.

The biggest surprise was the manufacturing sector, which added 29,000 jobs—the biggest increase since August 2013despite fears of weak global demand.

Retailers also added 58,000 jobs last month, the most since November 2014, while the healthcare industry took on 44,000 workers. The strong showing could impact the Fed's next interest rate decision in March.

"As regards policy implications, today's set of numbers should remind markets that a Fed March hike is not completely off the table," Allianz chief economic adviser Mohamed El-Erian writes on his Facebook page.