The unemployment rate fell unexpectedly to 11.5% in February from revised 11.8% in January. The initial rate for January was 11.9%.
A similar lower rate was last seen in August 2016. Economists had forecast the jobless rate to remain unchanged at 11.9% in February.
In February, unemployed totaled 2.984 million, down 2.7% over the previous month. The employment rate was 57.5%, unchanged from January.
The youth unemployment rate declined to 35.2 in February from 36.9% in January. ■
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