The manufacturing sector has been on fire since Trump was elected — March was another strong month for the industry

Key Points
  • The manufacturing industry has added roughly 293,000 jobs since President Trump's election, according to the Department of Labor data.
  • Much of last month's gains — as well as the yearly uptick — came from durable goods manufacturing, the Labor Department said.
An employee assembles an engine on the production line at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama facility in Montgomery, Alabama.
Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The manufacturing industry led job gains for the month of March, adding to the sector's streak of solid employment numbers over the past year under President Donald Trump.

The manufacturing sector added 22,000 jobs in March bringing its 12-month gain to 232,000 jobs, the Labor Department said Friday. Much of last month's gains — as well as the yearly uptick — came from durable goods manufacturing, the department said.

Business services also posted strong numbers, up 33,000 in March after increases in hiring by insurance, securities and commodities companies led to a strong gain in February.

Here are the net changes by industry for the month of February, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As for the strong yearly gains in manufacturing, "the expectation is you've had a big boost in business sentiment as well as corporate tax cuts," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James. "There's an expectation you'll get more capital spending in the months ahead and the stronger global economy has also been a factor."

Trump has made strengthening U.S. manufacturing a priority for economic policy. Both the president and Republican lawmakers passed tax cuts during Trump's first year in office, which included incentives the GOP hopes will encourage manufacturing investments.

Employment in manufacturing has steadily increased since Trump's election; the manufacturing industry has added 293,000 jobs since November 2016, according to the Department of Labor.

Overall, nonfarm payrolls rose 103,000 in March and the unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent, coming up short of Wall Street expectations. Economists had been expecting a payrolls gain of 193,000 and the unemployment rate to decline one-tenth of a point to 4 percent.

The construction industry was the jobs loser for the month, cutting 15,000 jobs in March after adding more than 60,000 in February.

The retail industry — which has fluctuated between net job gains and losses over the past few months — cut 4,400 jobs in March. The government said that employment declined by 13,000 in general merchandise stores, offsetting a gain of the same size in February. Over the past 12 months, employment in retail trade has shown little net change.

Correction: The retail industry cut 4,400 jobs in March. An earlier version misstated the month.