The unemployment rate had been expected to hold steady at 8.5%, with just 125,000 jobs added—instead, unemployment fell to 8.3% and 243,000 jobs were added last month, according to January's better-than-expected jobs report. The report has Wall Street Journal bloggers particularly effusive: "America's back, baby. America's back." Stock futures are also up on the news, the Journal notes.
That's the fifth consecutive month in which the unemployment rate has dropped, the AP reports. The number of jobs added is the highest in nine months, and the unemployment rate is the lowest in almost three years. (Read more unemployment stories.)