Unemployment Rate Hits Four-Year Low

Washington, DC, March 8, 2013 -- U.S. employers added 236,000 non-farm jobs in February and the unemployment rate dropped to a four-year low, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

That was up from 119,000 in January, a number that was revised lower from the initial estimate of 157,000 jobs.

February's number was the best payroll growth since 247,000 jobs last November and the second-best month for job growth of the past 12 months.

The unemployment rate dropped to 7.7% from 7.9% in January, with 12 million people looking for work. That is the lowest unemployment rate since December 2008, when the rate was 7.3%.

The report was better than Wall Street expected, as economists expected 160,000 new jobs and a 7.9% unemployment rate in February.

The unemployment rate fell in part because the labor force shrank by 130,000 workers.