Another solid month for job growth in February: The economy added 242,000 jobs on the month, according to figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning. The headline unemployment number was unchanged at 4.9 percent.
The number was strong enough to boost the 12-month average for the number of jobs added to 223,000 from 222,000. The Labor Department also revised its figures for December and January, adding 30,000 more jobs collectively for the two months.
Health care continues to be a big driver of job growth. Health care employment increased by 38,000 over the month, with 24,000 new jobs in ambulatory health care services and 11,000 at hospitals. Over the past 12 months, hospitals have added 181,000 jobs.