WASHINGTON (AP) — Construction led the way in February in a month of powerful hiring for the U.S. economy.
The sector added 61,000 jobs, the most in any month since 2007, before the Great Recession began. The gains came in part from builders and contractors working in both residential and commercial construction. Heavy and civil engineering companies also posted gains. Over the last 12 month, the sector has added a solid 254,000 jobs.
Retailers also delivered an impressive result, adding more than 50,000 jobs, the most in two years. The Labor Department cautioned that that gain might be slightly exaggerated because fewer people were laid off after the holiday shopping season than the government was expecting.
Nonetheless, the figure stands in contrast to a year earlier, when the retail sector was enduring deep job losses. The hiring in retail last month was led by clothing stores, home improvement and garden supply stores and general merchandise stores.