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Where Americans Found Jobs: Manufacturing, Business Services

Manufacturers and business service providers posted a strong month of hiring in April, helping cut the U.S. unemployment rate to 3.9 percent, the lowest level since December 2000.

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Manufacturers and business service providers posted a strong month of hiring in April, helping cut the U.S. unemployment rate to 3.9 percent, the lowest level since December 2000.

Employment in manufacturing grew by 24,000. Much of the growth stemmed from makers of durable goods, like machinery and fabricated metal products. Over the past year, that sector has added 245,000 jobs, with durable goods accounting for about three-fourths of the increase.

Professional services added 54,000 jobs last month, driven by positions in computer systems, temporary help and building services. The sector has been the strongest performer over the past 12 months, having added more than a half-million jobs.

Health care also registered a solid month of hiring, with more than 24,000 added jobs at physicians' offices, dental clinics and home health care.

Overall, U.S. employers added 164,000 jobs in April, up from an upwardly revised 135,000 in March, the Labor Department said Friday.

Industry (change from previous month) April 2018 March 2018 Past 12 months
Construction 17,000 -10,000 257,000
Manufacturing 24,000 22,000 245,000
Retail 1,800 6,200 71,800
Transportation, warehousing 400 15,700 152,800
Information (Telecom, publishing) 7,000 6,000 -26,000
Financial services 2,000 4,000 126,000
Professional services (Accounting, engineering, temp work) 54,000 39,000 518,000
Education and health 31,000 24,000 431,000
Hotels, restaurants, entertainment 18,000 8,000 279,000
Government -4,000 0 3,000
Source: Labor Department
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