The U.S. economy added 295,000 jobs in February, far surpassing expectations from economists, according to a CNN survey.
It is the 12th straight month that the economy has gained over 200,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate has fallen to 5.5%.
It is the lowest unemployment rate since May 2008, before the financial crisis.
The unemployment rate from last year at this time was 6.7%.
“The U.S. labor market is still a bright spot in this economic recovery,” says Sam Bullard, senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities to CNN. “It’s strengthening and improving.”
Job gains were across the board in many businesses, including retail, healthcare, and business services.
Retail businesses added 32,000 jobs last month and has been a primary component in adding jobs. However, retail tends to have a higher concentration of low-wage jobs than other sectors.
5% is considered a healthy unemployment rate, and it is very possible that the U.S economy reaches that goal by the end of 2015.