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Job gains in the education and health services sector easily surpassed those in all other industries in March, while the manufacturing sector posted its first month-over-month decline since July 2017.
CNBC studied the net changes by industry for March jobs based on the data from the Labor Department contained in the jobs report released Friday. The government said the U.S. economy added 196,000 jobs last month, more than the 180,000 increase expected by economists polled by Refinitiv.
Education and health care alone added 70,000 jobs, with strong hiring in ambulatory care, hospitals, and nursing and residential care facilities. The professional and business services sector, which includes lawyers, accountants and consultants, added to a consistent hot streak with a gain of 37,000 in March.
Leisure and hospitality had a healthy net job gain of 33,000, while construction also added to an extended hiring binge with a net gain of 16,000 positions.
The manufacturing industry, a priority for President Donald Trump, saw its first decline since July 2017. The sector lost 6,000 jobs last month versus a January addition of 13,000 and February's measly 1,000. Within the industry, employment in motor vehicles and parts declined in March by 6,000.
"Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 196,000 in March, with notable gains in health care and in professional and technical services," the Labor Department said in a release. "Employment growth averaged 180,000 per month in the first quarter of 2019, compared with 223,000 per month in 2018."
Retail trade employment lost 11,700 jobs, and is the only sector in the economy that has lost positions over the last three years.