Despite an overall uptick in job growth in February, the story was much less positive for the construction, architecture, and manufacturing industries, according to the monthly employment report released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
First, the good news. The American economy overall added 175,000 jobs in February, according to the report, which is 46,000 more jobs added last month than in January (revised up from 113,000 jobs added to 129,000 jobs added). Today's number is roughly 25,000 more than economists predicted the report would show. It's also 36,000 more than payroll company ADP and Moody's Analytics reported on Wednesday.
The picture looks a little bleaker in the drill down, however. Construction added 15,000 jobs in February, down significantly from 50,000 jobs added in January (revised up from the initially reported 48,000). But at least the industry stayed in the black. Manufacturing flatlined at 6,000 jobs added in both January and February (January's numbers were revised down from 21,000). Architectural and engineering services added 3,200, which is 1,500 less than January's revised number.
Heavy and civil engineering accounted for most of the growth in the construction industry, adding 12,300 jobs in February. Nonresidential building construction and residential specialty trade contractors both reported job losses in February.
It's too soon to tell if this is an industry epidemic or simply a fluctuation. These numbers could reflect the battering of winter storms this season—it was probably hard to build during #Snochi.