FILE - In this June 13, 2012, file photo, a job seeker talks to a recruiter at a job fair expo in Anaheim, Calif. The U.S. economy is showing signs of finally bottoming out: Americans are on the move again after record numbers had stayed put, more young adults are leaving their parents' homes to take a chance with college or the job market, once-sharp declines in births are leveling off and poverty is slowing. Not all is well. The jobless rate remains high at 8.1 percent. Home ownership dropped for a fifth straight year to 64.6 percent, the lowest in more than a decade, hurt by more stringent financing rules and a shift to renting. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
WASHINGTON (WVLT/AP) -- U.S. employers ramped up hiring in February, adding 236,000 jobs and pushing the unemployment rate down to 7.7. A .2 percent drop from January.
Stronger hiring shows businesses are confident about the economy, despite higher taxes and government spending cuts.
The unemployment rate is now at its lowest level in four years. Hiring has averaged more than 200,000 per month since November. Wages increased. And the job gains were broad-based, led by the best construction hiring in six years.
One bad note: employers added fewer jobs in January than first estimated. Job gains were lowered to 119,000 from an initially reported 157,000. Still, December hiring was a little better than first thought, with 219,000 jobs added instead of 196,000.
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