Some economists worry that restaurants, retailers and other companies are hiring more part-timers in preparation for the start of health care reform. Companies with more than 50 full-time employees in 2013 will be required to provide health insurance to their full-time staff next year.

Retailers, restaurants and hotels added 48,000 more jobs in February than previously reported. They accounted for three-quarters of that month's revision.

The government revises each month's jobs total twice in the following two months. The revisions occur because many companies in the survey submit their responses late.

Friday's report said the number of people who have been unemployed for more than six months dropped 258,000 to 4.4 million.

Over the past year, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 687,000. That's down from a peak of 6.7 million in 2010. But it's far above pre-recession levels of about 1.3 million.

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