The U.S. economy added 273,000 jobs in the month of February , the Labor Department said Friday in its monthly report.

Employment in healthcare and social assistance increased by 57,000, the report said, and the food services industry added 53,000. Government employment rose by 45,000.

The unemployment rate dipped slightly to 3.5 percent, Friday’s report noted.

The figure crushed most analysts’ expectations, as Wall Street anticipated job growth of about 175,000. February job growth was on par with January, which saw 225,000 new positions.

Wednesday, ADP and Moody’s Analytics reported 183,000 jobs for the month of February.

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