09/02/2014 08:59 AST

U.S. job growth accelerated in the month of January compared to the anemic growth seen in December, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Friday, although the pace of growth still fell well short of economist estimates.

The report said non-farm payroll employment increased by 113,000 jobs in January following a slightly upwardly revised increase of 75,000 jobs in December.

Economists had been expecting employment to climb by about 180,000 jobs compared to the addition of 74,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Despite the weaker than expected job growth, the unemployment rate still edged down to 6.6 percent in January from 6.7 percent in December. The unemployment rate had been expected to come in unchanged.

With the unexpected decrease, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since hitting 6.5 percent in October of 2008.

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