In February, the U.S. economy saw its record streak of job growth extend to 77 months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employers added 235,000 new positions over the course of the month, exceeding many analysts’ expectations.
So far, it appears that 2017 is off to a strong start. Since January 1, more than 473,000 jobs have been added. This figure takes into account updated figures for January, when 11,000 more jobs were added than originally reported, according to the BLS.
Healthcare and professional and business services were among the industries that contributed the most to job growth last month. Healthcare employment rose by 27,000 in February; the industry has added 30,000 jobs per month, on average, over the past 12 months. Employers in professional and business services increased their payrolls by 37,000 positions in January. The BLS reports that this industry has added 597,000 jobs over the past year.
According to the BLS, the unemployment rate in February dropped slightly from the previous month to 4.7 percent. The unemployment rate for college-degreed workers who are 25 or older was about half the overall rate: just 2.4 percent.