Leisure and hospitality had a healthy net job gain of 33,000, while construction also added to an extended hiring binge with a net gain of 16,000 positions.
The manufacturing industry, a priority for President Donald Trump, saw its first decline since July 2017. The sector lost 6,000 jobs last month versus a January addition of 13,000 and February’s measly 1,000. Within the industry, employment in motor vehicles and parts declined in March by 6,000.
“Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 196,000 in March, with notable gains in health care and in professional and technical services,” the Labor Department said in a release. “Employment growth averaged 180,000 per month in the first quarter of 2019, compared with 223,000 per month in 2018.”
Retail trade employment lost 11,700 jobs, and is the only sector in the economy that has lost positions over the last three years.