Hiring surged in the US last month as virus cases dropped, the vaccination campaign gained steam and restaurants and bars brought back workers.
Employers added 379,000 jobs in February, breaking a two-month streak of minimal gains.The growth was stronger than analysts had expected, but the activity did not significantly dent the jobless rate.
It dipped from 6.3% to 6.2%, reflecting the millions that remain out of work because of the virus.
Roughly 10 million people were unemployed last month - almost double the number a year ago before the virus prompted widespread lockdowns and social distancing, the Labor Department said.
That count did not include the millions more that have stopped looking for work or identified as employed, but are not working because of the pandemic.