Where Americans found jobs: Health care and restaurants

Associated Press |

WASHINGTON (AP) — If you were looking for a job last month, you might have found ample opportunities in health care, restaurants and manufacturing.

Those sectors hired at a solid pace, with health care benefiting from growth at hospitals, outpatient care centers, doctor's offices and home health care services. For all of 2016, health care added an average of 35,000 jobs a month, roughly in line with the pace in 2015.

Manufacturing bounced back with 17,000 added jobs in December, though the sector's job change for the year was negative. The sector lost 45,000 positions in 2016 as a decline in energy prices earlier in the year led factories to cut back. A stronger dollar and slower economic growth abroad also hurt exports.

Food services and drinking establishments added nearly 30,000 jobs in December. For the year, they added about 247,000.

Categories that lost jobs last month included construction and information.

Overall, employers added 156,000 jobs in December. The unemployment rate ticked up to 4.7 percent from a nine-year low of 4.6 percent.

Industry (change from previous month) Past 12 months
Construction -3,000 17,000 102,000
Manufacturing 17,000 -7,000 -45,000
Retail 6,300 19,500 256,700
Transportation, warehousing 14,700 11,400 62,100
Information (Telecom, publishing) -6,000 -12,000 -2,000
Financial services 13,000 8,000 159,000
Professional services (Accounting, engineering, temp work) 15,000 65,000 522,000
Education and health 70,000 43,000 593,000
Hotels, restaurants, entertainment 24,000 37,000 295,000
Government 12,000 6,000 183,000
Source: Labor Department

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