FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - Job creation figures have turned out disappointing in January, well below the expert's forecasts of a sharp increase, while the unemployment rate has edged down slightly on the month, according to the latest data released by the US Department of Labor.

Non-farm employment posted a 17,000 decrease in January, when the experts had advanced increases between 50,000 and 100,000. This slight decrease has to do with declines in manufacturing and construction, while employment increased in the health care sector.

December´s payroll data was revised sharply to a 82,000 increase, from the initially reported 18,000 rise.

The unemployment rate edged down to 4.9% from 5.o% on the previous month, the volume of employed persons remained in 7.6 million practically unchanged on the month.

Average hourly earnings have risen 0.2% in January from December, which means a $0.04 rise. On the year, average weekly earnings rose 3.7%. The average weekly hours have edged down to 33.7 in January from 33.8 in December.