The nation's unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent in January - the lowest in nearly three years, and the fastest gain in nine months.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported this morning that more than 240,000 net jobs were added to the nation's payrolls. The number was impressive, considering that economic analysts were forecasting a gain of about 140,000.
The improved numbers were powered by increases in manufacturing, professional and business services such as accounting and engineering.
While the private sector had a net gain, government continued to trim its payrolls, and the information sector also reported job losses
The nation's jobless rate has now fallen each month since August, when the rate was 9.1 percent
Total payrolls in the nation are still approximately 5.6 million less than at the start of the recession in late 2007.
Idaho's unemployment rate for December was 8.3 percent. January numbers are expected next week.