The retail industry suffered job losses of roughly 20,000. The downward trend in retail jobs is believed to be a result of an ongoing shift to e-commerce sales.
"What we're seeing here is a continuation of a trend that we've seen in the retail industry and that's something we gotta get used to," White House chief economic advisor Gary Cohn said in a Bloomberg interview Friday.
On the whole, retail posted a net job loss in 2017, shedding nearly 70,000 jobs over 12 months as e-commerce giants like Amazon hurt traditional brick-and-mortar retailer sales.
On the flip side, the construction industry was the big employment-gain leader for the month with an increase of 30,000 jobs. The government explained that much of those gains came from specialty trade contractors, which added roughly 24,000 jobs.
"Job gains occurred in healthcare, construction, and manufacturing," the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday in a release. "In 2017, payroll employment growth totaled 2.1 million, compared with a gain of 2.2 million in 2016."
Manufacturing, another area of increases, added 25,000 jobs because of strong numbers in durable goods — including motor vehicles — which contributed 21,000 to the total. The industry added 196,000 jobs last year, easily besting results in 2016.