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Jobless Rate Flat at 8.3% Even as Payrolls Grow 227,000
CNBC.com | March 09, 2012 | 08:32 AM EST

The slow melt-up in employment continued during February as the economy added 227,000 new jobs while the unemployment rate held flat at 8.3 percent.

With warm weather helping to spur activity and as the European sovereign debt crisis receded into the background, the American economic engine continued its steady drive toward recovery.

Economists had expected 210,000 net new jobs and the unemployment rate to hold steady at 8.3 percent.

Private payrolls in February grew by 233,000. Manufacturing added 31,000 jobs and services 203,000. Government subtracted 6,000 jobs from the total, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics .

Job creation fell short of the January totals, when the economy saw an upwardly revised 284,000 new jobs and a drop in the jobless rate.

"The good news is that the improved pace of job growth continued in January and February," said Kathy Bostjancic, director of macroeconomic analysis at the Conference Board. "The really good news is that this pace of job creation looks like it could be sustained through spring and summer, and possibly even pick up."

Reaction from the financial markets was muted — stocks edged higher at the open while Treasury yieldsrose.

Job gains were broad-based.

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