Although it is not getting as much attention as the top line numbers of the unemployment rate (7.9%, up slightly) and new jobs created (157,000, which was about the number expected, the best news in the January employment report were in the revisions to the November and December jobs reports.  

The Bureau of Labor Statistics added 129,000 jobs to the estimates from those jobs reports so that in November and December 256,000 and 202,000 jobs were created, a total 458,000 jobs, not the previously reported 329,000 (161,000 and 168,000 in November and December).  

So this report is optimistic and the markets saw it that way.  It also means we may need to be cautious about the January number of 157,000 which is causing some worries, since it seems a little low.  If the last three months are any indication that may be revised upward too.  

The unemployment rate (which I think is a pretty bad indicator of the economy anyway) remains "essentially unchanged" according to the BLS at about 7.9% and has remained there since it dropped in September 2012.  Other signs of private economic growth (despite the worrisome fourth quarter GDP drop, brought on by government sector austerity) will probably continue to slowly lead us to recovery.

A link to stories about this:  http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2013/02/01/economists-react-full-fiscal-cliff-not-avoided/