Posted March 4, 2016

Construction jobs rose in Feb., but manufacturing jobs fell

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a better than expected employment report, as total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 242,000 in February.

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent.

Construction employment continued to trend up in February (+19,000), with a gain of 14,000 in residential specialty trade contractors. Employment in construction was up by 253,000 over the past 12 months, with residential specialty trade contractors accounting for about half of the increase.

Manufacturing employed decreased by 19,000 during the month, with most of the job losses in durable goods industries. The motor vehicles and parts manufacturing sector was one bright spot for the month, with that industry gaining 2,000 jobs.

Employment in mining continued to decline in February (-19,000), with job losses in support activities for mining (-16,000) and coal mining (-2,000). Since a recent peak in September 2014, mining has shed 171,000 jobs, with more than three-fourths of the loss in support activities for mining.