Employers in the U.S. boosted payrolls more than forecast in February, indicating companies are growing more optimistic about the expansion. The jobless rate held at 8.3 percent.
The 227,000 increase in payrolls followed a revised 284,000 gain in January that was bigger than first estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Job growth over the last six months was the strongest since 2006. The median projection of economists in a Bloomberg News survey called for a 210,000 rise in February employment.
Employment at service-providers increased 203,000. Retail trade payrolls fell 7,400 in February. Professional and business service payrolls increase 82,000 last month, including a 45,200 pickup in temporary hiring.