“The U.S. economy added a better-than-expected 236,000 jobs in February as the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, the Labor Department reported Friday. The economy got a boost from the strengthening housing sector, which saw employment jump the most in six years.
Many economists like JJ Kinahan, chief derivatives strategist of TDAmeritrade, expected around 171,000 jobs would be added. Economists expected the jobless rate to drop back to the 7.8 percent it was in September.
“This was an outstanding employment report on many fronts,” said Robert Johnson, director of economic analysis at Morningstar.
The Labor Department revised the number of jobs added in January to 119,000 from 157,000, and those in December to 219,000 from 196,000.
The Labor Department reported on Thursday that unemployment claims fell 7,000 in the week that ended March 2, near the five-year lows reached in January, the Associated Press reported.