US jobless rate falls to 7.7%, 236,000 jobs added in February

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US jobs market brightened better than expected in February, with the unemployment rate falling and solid job growth, official data released on Friday showed.

The jobless rate fell to 7.7 per cent, from 7.9 per cent in January, and the US gained a net 236,000 jobs, the Labour Department said.

The numbers were much better than analysts expected. The average estimate was for the jobless rate to remain stuck at 7.9 per cent for the second month in a row and additional jobs to total only 165,000.

The last time the jobless rate was as low as 7.7 per cent was in December 2008.