WRAPUP 6-U.S. hiring struggles to rebound from winter chill
* Nonfarm payrolls rise 113,000 in January
* December payrolls gain revised up slightly to 75,000
* Average hourly earnings up, work week steady
By Lucia Mutikani
WASHINGTON, Feb 7 (Reuters) - U.S. job creation slowed
sharply over the past two months, turning in the weakest
performance in three years and raising the prospect that the
economy may be losing momentum.
At the same time, however, the unemployment rate hit a new
five-year low of 6.6 percent in January even as Americans piled
back into the labor market to search for work.
The Jekyll and Hyde report from the Labor Department on
Friday whipsawed U.S. markets in early trade. Many economists
cautioned against reading too much into it given the extreme
weather that has hit much of the nation this winter.
"It supports the view that momentum is slowing in the first
quarter, but it's too early to draw conclusions and we should
not be too pessimistic either," said Thomas Costerg, a U.S.