February employment improves by more than 230,000 jobs

The U.S. economy got another boost early on in 2013. New government data on employment during February found better-than-expected job creation in a number of key industries. The uptick in employment also put a notable dent in the unemployment rate, which dipped to a four-year low. Businesses are expanding across the nation in growing force, and in order to attract the most qualified talent to fill new positions, firms should work with recruiting agencies.

Unemployment lowest since December 2008
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) latest employment situation report for February, total nonfarm payroll increased by 236,000 new jobs, which led the unemployment rate to drop to 7.7 percent.

The total for the month was also well above the predictions of many analysts; market professionals surveyed by CNNMoney expected an increase of just 170,000 jobs. Government data also provided a more optimistic reading of the employment situation than the ADP report released days before, which indicated private sector job creation reached 198,000 during February. In the three months prior, average monthly job creation registered 195,000.

In actuality, the economy created 246,000 jobs in February. However, those gains were made in the private sector while government employment lost 10,000 jobs, offsetting the increase. The BLS release included revisions to the two months leading up to February, as well. December's total was revised to 219,000 from 196,000, while January's was revised to 119,000 from 157,000.

Professional and business services, construction make gains
Overall, the breakdown of jobs creation in service-providing and goods-producing was 179,000 new positions and 67,000, respectively.

Professional and business services was the key job generator behind the February rise, adding 73,000 positions. Administrative and support services employment saw 44,000 new jobs; accounting and bookkeeping increased by 11,000.

Construction hiring led the employment rise for goods-producing during February, adding 48,000 jobs. Manufacturing was another strong industry for job growth during the month, making manufacturing recruiters a major asset to any talent search in the near future. Altogether, manufacturing employment rose by 14,000, with 6,000 occurring in durable goods and 8,000 in non-durable goods. In the former category, fabricated metal products hiring was particularly strong, boosting employment by 6,400 jobs, while food manufacturing created 3,4000 jobs in the latter.

Other industries that experienced job growth include: healthcare (+32,000), information (+20,000), trade/transportation/utilities (+30,000) and retail trade (+23,7000).