U.S. adds 243,000 Jobs in January

The United States economy gained momentum in January, the second straight month of better-than-expected gains.

The unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent, giving a cause for optimism as the economy shapes up as the central issue in the presidential election. The Labor Department's monthly snapshot of the jobs market uses a different survey, of households rather than employers, to calculate the unemployment rate.

Measured by both the unemployment rate and the number of jobless — which fell to 12,758,000 — it was the strongest signal yet that an economic recovery was spreading to the jobs market.

The report sent stocks up by over 1% in early trading on Wall Street.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics