U.S. economy creates 236,000 jobs in February

U.S. economy creates 236,000 jobs in February

PanARMENIAN.Net - The U.S. economy created 236,000 jobs in February, according to official government statistics.The figure was much higher than analysts had expected, and more than the 157,000 jobs created in January, BBC News reported.

The unemployment rate fell to 7.7% last month, the lowest since December 2008, from 7.9% in January, official figures showed.

Employment increased in professional and business services, construction and health care. The growth has risen by an average of 195,000 per month in the last three months, figures showed.

But the number of long-term unemployed - out of a job for at least 27 weeks - was unchanged, accounting for about 40% of the jobless total.

The figures gave a boost to European stock markets, while the dollar gained against the euro and the yen. The FTSE 100 rose 0.5%, while France's Cac 40 was 1.3% higher.

"Progress in the labor market is unmistakable. The economy is producing more than twice as many jobs as it did at the low point in the second quarter of last year," said Joseph Trevisani, chief market strategist at Worldwidemarkets.

But he warned that optimism was "relative", because of slow economic growth. The economy in the October-December quarter made modest gains, growing at an annualized rate of just 0.1%.

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