U.S. unemployment dips to 7.7 percent


The U.S. economy created jobs at a faster pace than expected in February, with 236,000 new positions, the Labor Department said in a new monthly report, released Friday. The new unemployment rate of 7.7 percent is down from 7.9 percent in January and marks a four-year low.

After peaking at 10 percent in October 2009, the unemployment rate fell steadily for three years but has been stuck at just below 8 percent since last September, the New York Times reports.

One other bit of good news: Private-sector pay increased 0.6 percent as people both worked more hours and at a higher hourly wage, the Washington Post reported.

Minnesota's unemployment rate for February is not yet available. The state's rate in January was 5.6 percent.

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Minnesota adds more than 15,000 jobs, unemployement dips

January unemployment dropped a tenth of a percent in Minnesota as employers added another 15,500 jobs. The unemployment rate for the state is at 5.6 percent. Minnesota's jobless rate is well below the national figure, but job growth is slower than the nation as a whole.