Posted March 5, 2021

Manufacturing employment improves, construction suffers

Manufacturing employment increased by 21,000 in February, led by a gain of 10,000 jobs in transportation equipment. Employment in manufacturing is down by 561,000 over the year.

Employment in construction fell by 61,000 jobs, largely reflecting declines in nonresidential specialty trade contractors (-37,000) and heavy and civil engineering construction (-21,000). Severe winter weather across much of the country may have held down employment in construction.

Construction employment is 308,000 below its level a year earlier.

Mining shed 8,000 jobs in February, with losses occurring in support activities for mining (-6,000) and in oil and gas extraction (-2,000). Mining has lost 153,000 jobs since an employment peak in January 2019, though nearly two-thirds of the loss has occurred over the past year.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 379,000 in February, and the unemployment rate improved slightly, moving to 6.2 percent compared to 6.3 percent last month.

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