The unemployment rate has remained at 6 per cent, as 47,300 jobs were added to the economy last month.
There were 80,500 full-time roles added and 33,300 part-time positions removed. The participation rate jumped to 64.8 per cent from 64.6 per cent.
The Australian dollar surged on the news, rising by over half a cent to 90.76 US cents at 11.33am AEDT.
“Encouragingly, there was outsized growth in full-positions, reversing the trend of the past year or so. Recent gains in the forward indicators are flowing through to the hard data.”
The surprise jump in full-time jobs came as supermarket giant Woolworths promised new jobs across Australia at its stores, weeks after a series of manufacturing closures this year that has seen thousands put out of work.
Woolworths said it would open 108 new stores in 2014 and 2015 to create 6981 jobs. Last week, Coles said it would build 70 new supermarkets and create more than 16,000 jobs.
The aggregate monthly hours worked decreased 14.0 million hours to 1,608.9 million hours. The employment to population ratio increased by 0.2 percentage points to a seasonally adjusted 60.9 per cent.
Economists had expected the unemployment rate to remain at 6 per cent in February, with 15,000 jobs added to the economy.
The latest figures came as a survey released Wednesday show Australian consumers were increasingly worried about their jobs and the economic outlook as consumer confidence slumped to its lowest levels since May.
Westpac and the Melbourne Institute’s consumer confidence survey fell to its lowest levels since May last year and is now 10 per cent lower than its post-election peak reached in November.
Economists said consumer confidence had taken a beating on the run of ‘bad news’ around the motor vehicle industry, other manufacturers and Qantas has clearly rattled consumers,
There was a “a severe loss of confidence around job security”, Westpac senior economist Matthew Hassan said.