September hiring boom spanned all sectors, led by business services

Economic Indicators Associated Press

The surge in hiring last month that sent the U.S. unemployment rate to a six-year low spanned an array of industries and benefited many higher-paying sectors.

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Driving the gains were professional and business services, which added 81,000 jobs, the most in seven months. The category includes engineers, accountants and architects.

Overall, employers added a healthy 248,000 jobs in September, the Labor Department said Friday. The report also showed that employers added a combined 69,000 more jobs in July and August than the government had previously estimated.

The unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage point to 5.9 percent, the lowest level since July 2008.

"A common query we field is, 'Exactly which industries are creating the jobs?' Try everything," Douglas Porter, chief economist at BMO Financial Group, said in a research note.

Indeed, every major job category has recorded cumulative job gains over the past 12 months, led by professional services, education and health, and leisure and hospitality.

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Industry (change from previous month) September 2014 August 2014 Past 12 months
Construction 16,000 16,000 230,000
Manufacturing 4,000 -4,000 161,000
Retail 35,300 -4,700 264,000
Transportation, warehousing 1,900 8,500 140,000
Information (Telecom, publishing) 12,000 5,000 10,000
Financial services 12,000 12,000 89,000
Professional services (Accounting, engineering, temp work) 81,000 63,000 713,000
Education and health 32,000 42,000 399,000
Hotels, restaurants, entertainment 33,000 20,000 372,000
Government 12,000 5,000 47,000
Source: Labor Department