The United States unemployment rate for the dipped below 5% for the first time since February 2008 and the retail industry added 48,800 jobs in January, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

During the past year, retail employment — excluding automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants — gained 201,000 jobs.

“The gains in retail jobs in January indicate consumers continued to shop even after the holiday season came to a close,” says NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. “Clothing and department stores scored well for job gains, with home-related retail sectors, such as furniture and electronics, also showing solid gains.”

The U.S. Labor Department reported that total non-farm payrolls grew by 151,000 jobs in January; unemployment dropped to 4.9%.

For more information, visit nrf.com. — J.B.