Unemployment Rate Drops to 7.7 Percent As Country Adds 236,000 Jobs

Philip Bump

The unemployment rate dropped from 7.9 to 7.7 percent as the country added 236,000 jobs in February, according to data released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Numbers for January and December were revised down 38,000 jobs and up 23,000 respectively, yielding a total change of 221,000 jobs.

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The unemployment rate dropped 0.2 percent, although that differed among various demographic groups.

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The sector of the economy that saw the biggest change was professional services, after a slow January, as the BLS notes.

Professional and business services added 73,000 jobs in February; employment in the industry had changed little (+16,000) in January. In February, employment in administrative and support services, which includes employment services and services to buildings, rose by 44,000. Accounting and bookkeeping services added 11,000 jobs, and growth continued in computer systems design and in management and technical consulting services.

The average workweek increased .1 hour to 34.5 hours. Average hourly earnings increased four cents to $23.82.