The economy added 313,000 jobs in February, the Labor Department reported Friday, up from 239,000 in December.
Average hourly private-sector earnings were up 2.6 percent over the previous year. In January, they were up 2.8 percent. The unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, unchanged from the past four months.
Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had predicted the creation of 205,000 jobs, an increase in over-the-year hourly earnings of 2.9 percent, and an unemployment rate down slightly at 4 percent.