By Lucia Mutikani
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. employment gains slowed more than expected in January as the boost to hiring from unseasonably mild weather faded, but rising wages and an unemployment rate at an eight-year low suggested the labor market recovery remains firm.
Non-farm payrolls increased by 151,000 jobs and the unemployment rate slipped one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.9 percent, the lowest since February 2008, the Labor Department said on Friday. The payrolls gain was a sharp step-down from the average 231,000 jobs per month during the fourth quarter.
“The fact that payroll gains fell back to earth is not necessarily a bad sign.…