WASHINGTON — Non-farm payroll employment rose 243,000 in January while the unemployment rate fell to 8.3%, the lowest since February 2009, when it was the same level, the Labor Department reported Friday.

The increase in January non-farm payrolls was the result of gains in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted non-farm payrolls would increase 150,000 and that the unemployment rate would be 8.5%.

The 243,000 non-farm payrolls gain for January followed an upwardly revised 203,000 increase for December. The 8.3% unemployment rate was down from an 8.5% rate for the previous month.

Private payrolls rose 257,000 while government payrolls slid 14,000 in January. Average hourly earnings rose 0.1% to $19.62 in January from $19.60 in December. The workweek for all private workers rose to 33.8 hours from an unrevised 33.7 hours in December.

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