Jobless rate in US down to three-year low, figures boosting stock market
NEW figures from the US show that the unemployment rate fell to a near three-year-low in January at 8.3pc.
Official figures also showed that 243,000 jobs were created in that period, the biggest increase since April last.
Economists had expected a gain of 150,000.
Revisions to November and December US employment figures showed 60,000 more jobs created than previously reported.
Wall Street's Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than 1pc after the jobs figures.
The FTSE 100 Index climbed 1.6pc or 94.6 points higher to 5890.5, the highest level since early August.
The US figures indicate that the fourth quarter’s growth carried on into 2012 and then news boosted stock markets.
European markets were also buoyed by improved market sentiment while the euro also gained.
In addition, average hourly earnings rose four cents, which should help to support spending.
Mild winter weather boosted construction employment last month, which added 21,000 after a 31,000 increase in December.
The US economy grew by 2.8pc in the final three months of 2011, up from 1.8pc in the third quarter,