Even before Hurricane Katrina interrupted production in Florida and along the Gulf Coast at the end of August, the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy had shed several thousand more jobs.
Not including hurricane-associated unemployment, U.S. manufacturing lost 14,000 jobs last month, bringing the total of such jobs lost during the last year to 110,000, the U.S. Labor Department reported on September 2. (The departments August employment data were collected before the hurricane hit, and therefore its impact wont show up until the September numbers, which are due out on October 7.)
Augusts manufacturing job losses were led by the auto, apparel and textile industries.
In stark contrast to manufacturing, construction added 25,000 jobs last month, bringing its employment gain during the last year to 277,000.
The service sector of the U.S. economy added 156,000 jobs in August.
Overall, the non-farm sector of the economy added 169,000 jobs in August, and the national unemployment rate fell to 4.9%.