The U.S. economy created 236,000 jobs in February, the U.S. Labor Department announced Friday -- well above the roughly 170,000 consensus estimate.
What's more, the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent.
Further, February's gains saw strength in professional services (up 73,000 jobs), construction (up 48,000), health care (32,000) and retail (up 24,000).
The U.S. economy has added an average of 191,000 jobs over the past three months, a decent job growth pace.
However, that 191,000 average monthly job gain probably won't be enough to prompt the U.S. Federal Reserve to alter its acommodative monetary policy stance -- both conventional (interest rates) and unconventional (quantitative easing).
Economic/Market Analysis: The February report is, arguably, the best news in a year for U.S. job seekers, as there was broad strength in job creation. Further, should the roughly 200,000 monthly gain continue, consumer spending should pick-up -- something that bodes well for corporate earnings, and by extension, for U.S. stock prices.
Joseph Lazzaro, U.S. Editor, served as Managing Editor of New York-based financial news web sites WallStreetEurope.com/WallStreetItalia.com, 1999-2004, and as Economics...