Wall Street opened higher on Friday after the government reported fewer workers were laid off in July, providing fresh evidence of an economic recovery and the sustainability of a recent market run-up.

* U.S. employers cut 247,000 jobs in July, far less than expected and the least in any month since last August, according to the Labor Department, suggesting the recession was abating. The July unemployment rate eased to 9.4 percent from 9.5 percent the prior month, the first time the rate had fallen since April 2008.

* The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 71.57 points, or 0.77 percent, to 9,327.83. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 7.90 points, or 0.79 percent, to 1,004.98. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> climbed 23.37 points, or 1.18 percent, to 1,996.53.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)