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The Bureau of Labor and Statistics jobs report: Investor takeaways

Part 4
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics jobs report: Investor takeaways (Part 4 of 7)

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows 192,000 new jobs in March

The BLS Employment Situation Summary report for March 2014: Key highlights

Job creation emerged from its winter freeze after U.S. employers added 192,000 jobs in March. However, the nation’s unemployment rate remains unchanged, at 6.7%.

BLS report March 2014Enlarge Graph

Employment rose in March, with a boost from professional and business services, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (or BLS) jobs report released on Friday, April 4.

Private-sector employment surpassed its 2008 peak for the first time. Private service–providing jobs increased 167,000, following a 148,000 rise in February.

Government employment was unchanged in March. It was flat after rising 9,000 in February. Employment in the Federal government has fallen 85,000 since March 2013.

Sector highlights

  • The professional and business services sector continued to grow, adding 57,000 jobs in March, mainly in the areas of temporary help services, computer systems, and architectural services.
  • Healthcare added 19,000 jobs as home healthcare services expanded but nursing care facilities shed jobs.
  • Retail trade gained 21,000 jobs.
  • Employment in mining and logging increased by 7,000 jobs in March, continuing its average growth of 3,000 jobs per month since March 2013.
  • Food and drink services added 30,000 jobs in March.
  • Goods-producing jobs rose 25,000 in March after a gain of 40,000 in February.
  • Construction employment increased by 19,000 jobs, following an 18,000 increase the month before, according to the BLS.
  • Manufacturing jobs slipped 1,000 after rising 19,000 in February.

Industrial companies, as major contributors to the job market, are greatly affected by employment statistics. Industrial ETFs like the SPDR Industrial Select Sector Fund (XLI), which has companies like General Electric Co. (GE) and Boeing Co. (BA) in its portfolio, the Vanguard Industrials Index Fund (VIS), and the iShares Dow Jones US Industrial Sector Index Fund (IYJ) serve as a good indicator of the industrial sector.

For key highlights from the household and establishment survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, read on to the next part of this series.

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