A surge in February hiring helped lower the U.S. unemployment rate to 7.7 percent. That's down from 7.9 percent in January and the lowest since December 2008.
The 236,000 jobs added last month benefited a wide range of Americans in various demographic groups and education levels.
Still, there were a few exceptions. Unemployment for teenagers jumped to 25.1 percent, up from an already-high 23.4 percent in January. Rates rose modestly for black and Hispanic women, offsetting drops for men in both demographic groups.
And college graduates saw a mild increase in unemployment last month. However, theirs remained the lowest for all groups at 3.8 percent.
Here are some details from the government's report:
|Unemployment rates for:|
|(Numbers in percentages)||Feb. 2013||Jan. 2013||Feb. 2012|
|20-24 years old:||13.1||14.2||13.8|
|25-54 years old:||6.5||6.7||7.3|
|55 and over:||5.8||6.0||5.9|
|Veterans of Iraq/Afghanistan*:||9.4||11.7||7.6|
|No high school diploma:||11.2||12||12.9|
|High school graduate:||7.9||8.1||8.3|
|Duration of Unemployment|
|Average length (weeks):||36.9||35.3||39.9|
|Jobless 6 months or more (pct.):||40.2||38.1||42.3|
|* not seasonally adjusted|
|Source: Labor Department|