American employers substantially stepped up their hiring in January, bringing the unemployment rate down for the fifth month in a row, CNNMoney reports.
Employers added 243,000 jobs in January, the Labor Department reported Friday, marking a pick-up in hiring from December, when the economy added 203,000 jobs. Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent, its lowest since February 2009.
Hiring was much stronger than expected, and once it was apparent the job gains were broad based across several sectors, economists and investors called it a “nice surprise,” “fantastic,” and even “a touchdown!”
Economists surveyed by CNNMoney had forecast 130,000 jobs added in January.