The Commerce Department reported Friday that America's jobless rate dropped to 7.5 per cent in March, the lowest level in more than four years as the U.S. economy added 165,000 new positions.
That was enough to light a fire under U.S. stocks, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 142 points to almost 14,974, just off the all-time high above 15,000 it reached earlier in the day. The broader S&P 500 index also closed higher, up more than 16 points to1,614.
"There's euphoria today," said Stephen Carl, the head equity trader at The Williams Capital Group. "That's what you'd have to call it."
Both gains were of more than one per cent, and cap an extended bull run.
"All things considered, 165,000 isn't the biggest monthly gain in payrolls you'll every see, but it's enough to assuage concerns that the economy had stalled again," said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics.
The strong signs of growth in America's economy were enough to power oil higher, moving the price of a barrel of crude up $1.62 in New York to $95.61.
That spread some of the gains to Toronto, where the stock market depends heavily on commodities. The S&P/TSX composite index closed at 12,438, up about 58 points.
"We're breaking through psychological barriers and that will continue to bring investors off the sidelines," said Darrell Cronk, regional chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank.
The loonie gained about a fifth of a cent, closing at 99.23 cents US.