From 9% in January, the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 8.9% in February.
The economy added 192,000 jobs, triple the number in January, official data showed on March 4.
The manufacturing sector added 33,000 jobs.
The jobless rate unexpectedly fell for the third consecutive month and non-farm payrolls increased more than expected, while January job numbers were revised upward in a Labor Department report that raised hopes for recovery in the troubled labor market.
In January, the economy created 63,000 jobs, the department said, 75% more than initially estimated.
As federal, state and local governments struggled with falling revenue amid the recovery, the public sector shed 30,000 jobs in February, the fourth month running of declines.
In a positive sign for the recovery, the private sector created 222,000 jobs, the strongest increase since April 2010.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011