For the first time in eight years, the national unemployment rate fell below 5 percent.
In January, jobless claims fell to 4.9 percent, the lowest rate since 2008 and markedly improved from a high of 10 percent in 2009.
Although job growth is slowing, growth in wages is starting to pick up momentum. Average hourly earnings increased 2.5 percent in January compared to a year ago.
Locally, the unemployment rate in Massachusetts is 4.7 percent.