The U.S. economy added 379,000 jobs in February, far more than expected.
The unemployment rate ticked down to 6.2 percent from 6.3 percent in January.
The prior month saw a huge revision. The nonfarm payroll figure was revised up to show a gain of 166,000. This was initially reported as just 49,000.
Private-sector payrolls jumped by 465,000, far above the Econoday estimate of 183,000. Manufacturing sector payrolls climbed by 21,000, also above the estimate.
“In February, most of the job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, with smaller gains in temporary help services, health care and social assistance, retail trade, and manufacturing,” the Department of Labor said.
Private sector service providing companies added 513,000 jobs, including 355,000 positions in leisure and hospitality. Retail trade added 41,100 jobs.
Construction jobs declined by 61,000 after growing by just 1,000 in December. That is a bit of a mystery given the record pace of home building.