Another disappointing jobs report: Just 113,000 jobs were created in January; economists had expected 189,000, and the average monthly gain in 2013 was 194,000. The unemployment rate did tick down to 6.6% from 6.7%, as had been expected; that's a 5-year low, the AP reports. And since labor force participation saw a slight increase, that means the drop in unemployment was not due to people who stopped looking for work, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Even so, the Journal columnists are unimpressed: Michael J. Casey's take is, "Ouch!" However, he points out that "we do need to get beyond this gloomy winter to see how much weather is messing with the numbers." The AP's take: "Hiring was surprisingly weak in January for the second straight month, likely renewing concern that the US economy might be slowing after a strong finish last year." Meanwhile, December's already-weak report was revised upward by just 1,000 additional jobs, meaning 75,000 were created that month. But the November report was revised upward by 33,000 jobs, to a total of 274,000.