Those jobs were spread widely among manufacturing and service industries, a sign the economic recovery is enjoying more breadth.
February's stronger job market also absorbed a surge in the number of Americans returning to the workforce, which kept the unemployment rate unchanged from January at 8.3 percent.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also said Friday it found that 61,000 more jobs had been created in January and December than had first been reported. Those revisions made January's gains, already considered strong, seem even better at 284,000.
"The labor market has found its legs in the last few months, and it looks as if there's enough of a broad base that the momentum can be sustained," said Julia Coronado, BNP Paribas's chief economist for North America.
February's job results marked the 17th consecutive month of employment growth, including three straight months of gains of more than 200,000. The last six months have also produced more new jobs than any such stretch since early 2006.
Friday's news is reason to expect more jobs in the coming months, though economists say spring may deliver a few headwinds.
For example, March and April might not deliver their usual rebound in construction jobs because this winter's mild weather has kept construction crews relatively busy. And manufacturers have seen their inventories start to stack up, which means less work ahead if sales don't follow soon.
President Barack Obama welcomed the February jobs growth during his stop at a Rolls-Royce manufacturing plant in Prince George County, Va.
"The economy is getting stronger," he said. "It gives me confidence there are better days ahead."
Republican House Speaker John Boehner said the jobs report "provides some encouragement for millions of families and small businesses who continue to struggle in this economy, but unemployment remains far too high."
Stocks climbed modestly, with the Dow Jones industrial average finishing up 14.08 points to 12,922.02. Other indexes rose slightly more.
One other number from the February report caught the eye of economist and adviser Diane Dercher at Wealth Management Advisors in Leawood.
Nearly half a million Americans returned to the workforce.
"People are seeing some improvement in jobs, and they're coming back into the labor force," Dercher said.
Idled workers had not been drawn into the job market amid last year's early and tepid job growth. And hopes that those new jobs signaled a stronger recovery faded in the spring.
Workers' return to the job market last month suggests a better outcome this spring.
"That's the different piece in this" report, Dercher said.
As workers returned, most found jobs, based on the government's survey of households. Those surveys found 467,000 more Americans in the workforce last month than in January, and 428,000 of them found jobs.
That's a much larger count than the official total of 227,000 new jobs, which was based on reports from companies, governments and other employers.
Economists say the difference probably reflects an increasing number of self-employed workers and those working in private homes and farms, who rightfully tell surveyors they're working but don't show up on employer surveys.
February's 227,000 new jobs showed up across industries.
Manufacturing employment, which has been strong in recent months, rose by 31,000, which was more than economists had predicted. Health care, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and mining also grew.
Those gains were partly offset by declines in retail, construction and government jobs.
Federal government job losses are likely to grow as scheduled spending cuts begin to hit public payrolls.
But February may yet reveal more good news from additional job market details in coming weeks, said economist Chris Kuehl, managing director of Armada Corporate Intelligence in Kansas City, Kan.
The details are likely to echo a mid-week report from the privately produced ADP National Employment Report that showed smaller and mid-sized companies had begun to account for more of the hiring.
Kuehl said smaller employers are more likely to hire workers who have been out of a job a long time.
February's report showed 5.4 million of the nation's 12.8 million unemployed have been without work for 27 weeks or longer.
An additional 8.1 million are working part time when they'd rather be working full time, and 3.6 million more remain too discouraged to look or are only marginally attached to the workforce.
Kuehl said the return of these discouraged workers to the workforce was likely to accelerate as the jobs market strengthens.
It would be an important sign of progress in the long recovery from the deepest American recession in generations.
"We haven't clawed our way back yet," Dercher said, "but we're moving back up."
Bloomberg News contributed to this report.
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