WASHINGTON (AP) — The best places to look for work last month? Retail, restaurants and health care.
Those sectors alone accounted for more than 140,000 added jobs, helping offset losses in such areas as mining, education and transportation.
U.S. retailers added nearly 58,000 jobs in January. Stores selling clothing, furniture and electronics ramped up hiring. So did dealers selling cars and auto parts.
Restaurants and bars continued their hiring spree. Americans appear to be using some of the extra money they have from lower gas prices to eat out. The hiring momentum also remained strong at hospitals, physicians' offices and home health services.
Manufacturers added a solid 29,000 workers, even though a strong dollar and a fragile global economy are squeezing exports of U.S. goods.
Other sectors didn't fare so well. Education services shed 38,500 workers. The transportation and warehousing sector downsized by 20,300, likely letting go of seasonal workers after the holiday shopping season. The ranks of temporary workers fell by 25,200.
Job losses kept mounting in mining, a sector battered by lower energy prices. Since peaking in September 2014, that sector has lost 146,000 jobs.
Overall, U.S. employers added 151,000 jobs in January, a sharply slower pace than in recent months. The unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent from 5.0 percent.
|Industry (change from previous month)||January 2016||December 2015||Past 12 months|
|Information (Telecom, publishing)||1,000||8,000||28,000|
|Professional services (Accounting, engineering, temp work)||9,000||60,000||620,000|
|Education and health||6,000||54,000||644,000|
|Hotels, restaurants, entertainment||44,000||31,000||458,000|
|Source: Labor Department|