Feb 3, 2012 10:54 AM by AP
LONDON (AP) - Stocks spiked sharply higher on Friday after forecast-busting U.S. jobs figures reinforced hopes that the recovery in the world's largest economy is gathering pace at a time when other regions, notably Europe, may be heading back into recession.
Figures from the Labor Department showed that employers in the U.S. added 243,000 jobs in January. As well as being the highest in nine months, the gain was around 100,000 more than anticipated.
The advance also contributed to a fifth straight fall in the U.S. unemployment rate. At 8.3 percent, it's the lowest in three years.
The January jobs report was filled with other encouraging data and revisions. Hiring was widespread across many high-paying industries and pay increased, too.