Construction Jobs Fueled April Employment Gains

Construction and manufacturing - two bedrock sectors of the American economy - landed on opposite ends of April's jobs report.

Mon May 11, 2015 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

WASHINGTON (AP) - Construction and manufacturing - two bedrock sectors of the American economy - landed on opposite ends of April’s jobs report.

Construction companies added 45,000 jobs during the month, bringing their year-to-date total to 108,000. Most of April’s gains came from the ”specialty trade contractors’ subsector, which includes carpenters, electricians, plumbers and painters.

By contrast, manufacturing job growth remained basically flat, reflecting the beating the industry is taking from the rise in the value of the dollar. A strong dollar makes U.S. exports less competitive in overseas markets because they become more expensive. It also makes imports cheaper for U.S. consumers.

Manufacturers added just 1,000 jobs in March and April combined.

Overall, U.S. employers added 223,000 jobs in April. The unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent, the lowest level since May 2008.

Industry April 2015 March 2015     Year to date     Past 12 months
Construction 45,000 9,000108,000280,000
Manufacturing 1,000021,000180,000
Transportation, Warehousing15,2008,10019,600164,200
Information (Telecom, publishing)3,000016,00055,000
Financial services9,0007,00044,000151,000
Professional services (Accounting, engineering, temp work)62,00035,000166,000654,000
Education and health 61,00035,000199,000564,000
Hotels, restaurants, entertainment17,0006,00096,000434,000

Source: Labor Department

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