US adds 236K jobs, unemployment falls to 7.7 pct.
WASHINGTON – A burst of hiring in February added 236,000 U.S. jobs and reduced the unemployment rate to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent in January. The strong job growth showed that employers are confident about the economy despite higher taxes and government spending cuts.
The February jobs report issued Friday provided encouraging details: The unemployment rate is at its lowest level in four years. Job growth has averaged more than 200,000 a month since November. Wages rose. And the job gains were broad-based, led by the most construction hiring in six years.
The unemployment rate had been stuck at 7.8 percent or above since September. About half the decline in February occurred because more of the unemployed found jobs. A decline in the number of people looking for work accounted for the other half: People who aren't looking for jobs aren't counted as unemployed.
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