U.S. employers added 227,000 jobs in January to complete three of the best months of hiring since the recession began. The unemployment rate was unchanged, largely because more people streamed into the work force.
The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate stayed at 8.3 percent last month, the lowest in three years.
And hiring in January and December was better than first thought. The government revised those figures to show 61,000 an additional jobs.
The economy has now generated an average of 245,000 jobs in the past three months. The only stretch better was since the recession began was in early 2010, when temporary Census jobs lifted payrolls.
The President Barack Obama's re-election chances, although he's still likely to face the highest unemployment rate of any post-war president.