The nation's unemployment rate dropped to a four-year low in February—7.7 percent—as the economy gained 236,000 jobs, a much faster pace than analysts had predicted.
This morning's U.S. government employment report included mostly encouraging details: Hiring has averaged more than 200,000 jobs per month since November; average wages increased; and the job gains were broad-based, led by the best construction hiring in six years.
The U.S. Labor Department also said strong auto sales and a steady housing recovery were spurring more hiring.
After peaking at 10 percent in October 2009, the unemployment rate has fallen steadily for three years but had been stuck at just below 8 percent since September 2012.
Economists aren't expecting the good news to last too long: The Congressional impasse over federal government sequestration cuts began going into effect March 1, which will be reflected in next month's jobs report.