Many more private sector jobs than expected were created in February, and the unemployment rate dropped to 7.7% from 7.9%.
The unemployment rate is now at its lowest point since 2008.
Even more important, 246,000 private sector jobs were created, which is the first time in a long time that the number exceeded 200,000 in a month.
The labor force participation rate was slightly smaller, and the long term number of unemployed grew.
But taken as a whole, the news this morning was very good indeed.
U.S. economy gains 236,000 jobs in February has the breaking news:
"The U.S. added 236,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7% from 7.9%, marking the lowest level since December 2008, in another sign that hiring and economic growth are gaining momentum.
The job gains were the highest since November and were broad based, led by professional services (73,000), construction (48,000), health care (32,000) and retail (24,000), the Labor Department reported Friday.
Economists polled by MarketWatch expected the number of new jobs to increase by 160,000 and for the unemployment rate to remain unchanged at 7.9%.
Employment gains for January were revised lower but December hiring was revised up, resulting in little change overall. The number of new jobs created in January was revised to 119,000 from 157,000, while December's figure was revised up to 219,000 from 196,000. The economy has added an average of 191,000 jobs over the past three months.
In February, the average workweek rose 0.1 hour to 34.5, while average hourly earnings climbed 4 cents, or 0.2%, to $23.82. Hourly wages have risen 2.1% over the past 12 months. All the hiring in February took place in the private sector. Business added 246,000 jobs while government positions were cut by 10,000."
We'll have more to say as details become available, but the good news on the employment front was worth sharing immediately.
Hopefully, this is the beginning of a much needed stronger trend in jobs growth led by the all important private sector.
If that's the case, and if the government knows best gang doesn't screw things up along the way, we can look forward to steady improvement in the U.S. economy. That means even more JOBS.
In turn that will help everything else, including the deficits, improve.
Add in some much needed fiscal sobriety by our government knows best gang, and genuine efforts to achieve North American energy independence, and our "Don't worry, be happy" approach may become contagious.
Let's hope so.