According to official figures, the US economy added 113,000 jobs in January, weaker than expected for a second consecutive month.
Economists had predicted an increase of about 180,000 new jobs last month.
However, the unemployment rate fell to 6.6%, the lowest level since October 2008, as more people began looking for work.
The jobless figures will raise concern that, after a strong second half of 2013, growth in the US economy is beginning to lose its steam.
Earlier this week an unexpectedly weak manufacturing report raised concerns about the strength of the US economy and sent the Dow Jones tumbling by 326 points.
December’s surprisingly weak figure was revised up only modestly to 75,000, from 74,000.
The construction industry, most vulnerable to the impact of bad weather, added 48,000 in January indicating that while the weather may been responsible for December’s weak figures, it does not appear to have been a factor in January.
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