Employment in the US posted a second straight month of solid gains in March.
The number of people in work rose by 216,000 last month. January and February employment figures were revised to show 7,000 more jobs than previously reported.
That decisive shift in the labour market should help to underpin the recovery of the world’s largest economy.
The unemployment rate fell to a two-year low of 8.8 percent of the workforce.
Analysts said the falls over recent months do mostly reflect employment gains rather than a rise in the number of Americans who have given up on trying to find a job.
The private sector accounted for all of the new jobs in March while local and federal government laid off workers.
However the labour market is not yet considered to be strong enough to make the Federal Reserve change its policy of ultra-low interest rates, although the US central bank’s policymakers are currently debating when they should start withdrawing some of their massive economic stimulus.