The U.S. economy did more than give jobs to 313,000 in February — it brought nearly three times that amount off the sidelines, where more than 95 million Americans still sit.
Inside the glittering nonfarm payrolls report the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday were some even more inspiring numbers. Skilled labor positions surged with big increases in construction and manufacturing, which has seen its best three-month period since 1984.
On a bigger-picture level, there was even more.
The labor force surged by 806,000, the biggest move since September 2003, and now sits just below 162 million. That's due to 653,000 people no longer counted as being out of the labor force and a growth of 785,000 folks reporting to be at work, according to the government's household survey. The labor force participation rate rose to 63 percent while the employment-to-population ratio rose to 60.4 percent, both the highest since September.
It was all part of a jobs market that continues to defy expectations. Every time economists or officials at the Federal Reserve pronounce the U.S. at "full employment," a report seems to come out indicating that there's still plenty of room for growth.