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The US created a net 151,000 jobs in January, pushing its unemployment rate below 5%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The figures showed that job losses in the private education and transport industries weighed heavily on the net gain, which fell by almost half December's figure of 292,000.

Markets opened lower after the figures were published, with investors becoming concerned that slowing job creation is an indication of a slowing economy. Last week, it was reported the the country's economic growth slowed to 0.7% in the final quarter of 2015, down from 2% in the third quarter.

The retail sector saw a record number of jobs created for the month of January, at 58,000, accounting for more than a third of the total. A further 39,000 jobs were created in healthcare and 29,000 in manufacturing.