Unemployment Falls To 7.7 Percent

Unemployment was down in February, according to new numbers released by the Labor Department Friday.

U.S. unemployment was at 7.7 percent in February, down from 7.9 percent in January. This is the lowest rate in four years.

Hiring was also stronger in February, with 236,000 jobs added.

The majority of the news Friday was positive: hiring has averaged more than 200,000 per month for the last three months; wages were higher; the jobs added weren't just concentrated to a few fields, but were far more broad-based. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment increased the most in professional and business services, construction and health care; but also trended upward in retail trade, the information industry, and food services.

Employment in other major industries stayed about the same, BLS reported.

The only negative detail to Friday's report was that hiring was weaker in January than first projected. However, December's numbers were actually better than previously reported, with 219,000 jobs added instead of 196,000.