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Solid gains for automakers and construction as US employers add 209,000 jobs in July

Automakers helped drive hiring in July.

In a month when auto plants usually shut down to retool for next year's models, the sector added a solid 14,600 jobs, according to the government's employment report released Friday.

That increase accounted for more than half the 28,000 manufacturing jobs added last month, the strongest such gain since November 2013.

Spurring the hiring has been stronger auto buying. Sales for Chrysler, Toyota, Ford and Nissan each rose by double-digits in July compared with the same month last year.

More people are borrowing to buy all of those cars and trucks. The Credit Union National Association said that among its members, auto loans for new vehicles have risen 19.4 percent year-over-year from June 2014.

A total of 209,000 jobs were added last month. The unemployment rate rose from 6.1 percent to 6.2 percent because more people began looking for work and were newly counted as unemployed.

Residential construction added 13,000 of the sector's 22,000 added jobs, even though home sales have been relatively sluggish. The architectural and engineering sector added 8,800.

Retailers contributed 26,700 jobs.

Nearly all the 11,000 public sector jobs added in July came from local governments. Almost every major industry boosted their number of jobs, including transportation and warehousing, financial services, and hotels and restaurants.

Industry July 2014 June 2014 Past 12 months
Construction 22,000 10,000 211,000
Manufacturing 28,000 23,000 178,000
Retail 26,700 41,200 297,600
Transportation, warehousing 7,900 14,800 150,800
Information (Telecom, publishing) 2,000 10,000 -31,000
Financial services 7,000 17,000 50,000
Professional services (Accounting, temp work) 47,000 73,000 648,000
Education and health 17,000 45,000 375,000
Hotels, restaurants, entertainment 21,000 23,000 375,000
Government 11,000 28,000 91,000
Source: Labor Department