WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States created jobs at the fastest pace in nine months in January and the unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to a near three-year low, giving a boost to President Barack Obama. Nonfarm payrolls jumped 243,000, the Labor Department said on Friday, as factory jobs grew by the most in a year. The jobless rate fell to 8.3 percent – the lowest since February 2009 – from 8.5 percent in December. The gain in employment was the largest since April and it far outstripped the 150,000 predicted in a Reuters poll of economists. …

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