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Where Americans found jobs: Construction, factories, health

March 10, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — Construction, manufacturing, education and health care were fruitful places to look for jobs in February.

The construction sector posted robust gains, adding 58,000 jobs last month. That was the sector’s biggest monthly surge in nearly a decade, and it was likely helped by unseasonably warm weather in much of the nation. The job growth was fueled in particular by specialty trade contractors in residential and business construction. Heavy and civil engineering contractors hired at a solid pace, too.

Manufacturers also stepped up their hiring last month, with 28,000 additional jobs. It was the best showing since August 2013 and a welcome sign after the sector lost 45,000 jobs last year. A trade group has reported that manufacturing expanded in February at its fastest pace in more than two years.

Also adding jobs at a solid pace in February were private education services, medical and dental clinics and business services. On the negative side, retail employers shed jobs, and the information sector was flat.

Overall, employers added 235,000 jobs in February. The unemployment rate dipped to 4.7 percent from 4.8 percent.

Industry (change from previous month) February 2017 January 2017 Past 12 months
Construction 58,000 40,000 219,000
Manufacturing 28,000 11,000 7,000
Retail -26,000 39,900 128,400
Transportation, warehousing 8,800 -10,200 101,000
Information (Telecom, publishing) 0 -3,000 -14,000
Financial services 7,000 32,000 190,000
Professional services (Accounting, engineering, temp work) 37,000 46,000 597,000
Education and health 62,000 21,000 546,000
Hotels, restaurants, entertainment 26,000 24,000 306,000
Government 8,000 17,000 194,000
Source: Labor Department
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