World oil prices advanced Friday as traders welcomed an upbeat jobs report in the United States, and clawed back some of their losses from earlier in the week. New York\'s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for delivery in March, rose 95 cents to $97.31 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for March delivery rallied $1.31 to $113.38 a barrel in London late morning deals. The US unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent in January, its lowest level in nearly three years, thanks to an unexpected surge in hiring, government data showed Friday. \"We have seen strong economic data, including a reduction of the unemployment rate, to 8.3 percent, against predictions of remaining stable at 8.5 percent,\" said analyst Tom Pering at British energy consultancy Inenco. \"Strong and much larger than expected non-farm payrolls data for January has also indicated that the US economy is showing positive signs of a potential recovery.\" The American economy added 243,000 net jobs last month, the Labor Department reported, much better than the average analyst forecast of 155,000. Businesses stepped up hiring, adding 257,000 jobs. The blockbuster jobs report blew past expectations and lifter oil prices because the United States is the world\'s biggest crude consuming nation. \"Job growth was widespread in the private sector, with large employment gains in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing,\" the Labor Department said. Employment by governments, which had been shedding jobs under tight budgets, changed little over the month, it said. The jobs growth brought down the jobless rate from 8.5 percent in December. Most analysts expected it would hold steady in January. It was the fifth straight month the jobless rate has declined since August, when it stood at 9.1 percent. The 8.5 percent reading was the lowest since February 2009. Job creation in January was the strongest since April 2011. The overall unemployment to population ratio held firm at a low 58.5, around the same level it has been at for more than a year.