In Surprise, Unemployment Falls to 8.3% 243K jobs were added in January: jobs report By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Feb 3, 2012 7:44 AM CST Updated Feb 3, 2012 7:55 AM CST 125 comments Comments A 'now hiring' sign is seen in the window of a restaurant March 9, 2010 in New York City. (Getty Images) (Newser) – 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.