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January was a second straight disappointing month for U.S. job seekers, though mainly in the government and retail sectors with the end of the holiday shopping season.
Only 113,000 jobs were added last month, after an even softer 75,000 gain in December.
The Labor Department report would have looked much better without the job losses from two major industries. Governments shed a seasonally adjusted 29,000 jobs last month. The U.S. Postal Service cut 8,500 after the holiday rush ended. An additional 14,100 school jobs were cut by state and local governments.
Retailers slashed payrolls by 12,900. Those losses came primarily from sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores.
But there were also signs of underlying strength in Friday's report. Construction added 48,000 jobs, compensating for the loss of 22,000 in December. This suggests that the building of homes and commercial spaces should continue its recent strength.
Factories added 21,000 workers, most of them involving the manufacture of long-lasting goods. That also points to stronger growth this year. And Americans still feel they can afford to eat out, as restaurants and bars hired 14,800.
Here's a look at the jobs added or lost in each major industry category:
Industry Jan. 2014 Dec. 2013 Past 12 months
Construction 48,000 -22,000 179,000
Manufacturing 21,000 8,000 93,000
Retail -12,900 62,700 316,000
Transportation, warehousing 9,900 10,600 81,200
Information (Telecom, publishing) 0 -10,000 6,000
Financial services -2,000 3,000 65,000
Professional services (Accounting, temp work) 36,000 4,000 656,000
Education and health -6,000 -4,000 306,000
Hotels, restaurants, entertainment 24,000 20,000 433,000
Government -29,000 -14,000 -53,000
Source: Labor Department
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