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WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States added 227,000 jobs in February in the latest display of the economic recovery’s surprising breadth and brawn. The country has put together the strongest three months of pure job growth since the Great Recession.
The unemployment rate stayed at 8.3 percent. It was the first time in six months it didn’t fall, and that was because a half-million Americans, perhaps finally seeing hope in the economy, started looking for work.
The Labor Department also said Friday that December and January, already two of the best months for jobs since the recession, were even stronger than first estimated. It added 41,000 jobs to its total for January and 20,000 for December.
Economists were expecting February job growth of 210,000.
“It’s a very strong report,” said Bob Baur, chief global economist at Principal Global Investors, an asset management company. “I could hardly find anything not to like in it.”
Since the beginning of December, the country has added 734,000 jobs. The only three-month stretch that was better since the recession ended was March through May 2010, when the government was hiring tens of thousands of temporary workers for the census.
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