The construction, transportation and health-care industries recorded some of the strongest hiring numbers in September, as the U.S. unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in 49 years.
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Professional and business services, which includes a variety of industries, had the most new hires last month with job gains of 54,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department. Temporary health services contributed 10,600 of those positions.
Jobs in the transportation and warehousing sector grew by 23,800, while the construction industry added 23,000 jobs. Trucking and construction companies have grappled with a shortage of workers, and some firms are offering increased pay, benefits or bonuses to fill the void.
Education and health services booked a net gain of 18,000 jobs, while health care and social assistance gained 29,800 new jobs. Manufacturers expanded their payrolls by 18,000.
Financial activities (13,000) and the mining and logging industry (5,000) also posted sizable gains.
Retailers had the worst month for hiring, as the sector lost 20,000 jobs. Leisure and hospitality positions were down 17,000.
Some major retailers have announced plans to hire more workers for the holiday season. Target said it expects to hire about 120,000 seasonal employees, a 20 percent increase over last year.
The U.S. economy added 134,000 jobs in September, below expectations. But the unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent, and the Labor Department revised its estimates for the prior two months to include an additional 87,000 jobs. Average hourly wages rose 2.8 percent over the last 12 months.