*(Via USA Today) — The economy added 295,000 new jobs in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, blasting past economists’ expectations of 240,000 new jobs.The unemployment rate fell to 5.5% from 5.7% in January, the lowest since May 2008, when the rate was 5.4%.
Businesses added jobs in food services and drinking places, professional and business services, construction, health care, and in transportation and warehousing. Government payrolls rose only by 7,000, and jobs in the mining industry fell.
The BLS revised January’s job gains to 239,000 from 257,000 and left December’s 329,000 estimate unchanged, for a total downward revision of 18,000. Job gains have averaged 288,000 a month the past three months. Nevertheless, February was the fourth-best month for jobs since January 2014.