Unemployment rate finally drops below 9 percent
The manufacturing and construction sectors each added 33,000 jobs in February, the Labor Department reported today as non-farm payrolls rose by 192,000. This is especially good news for the construction sector, which had lost 22,000 jobs in January. Many economists had said that loss was due to weather conditions.
Almost all of the manufacturing gain occurred in the durable goods industries, including machinery (+9,000) and fabricated metal products (+7,000).
Manufacturing has added 195,000 jobs since its most recent trough in December 2009; durable goods manufacturing added 233,000 jobs during this period.
The U.S. unemployment fell below 9% for the first time in nearly two years.
The January number was revised to show an increase of 63,000 jobs from a previous estimate of 36,000.
The unemployment rate, which is obtained from a separate household survey, fell to 8.9% last month.