Manufacturing Drops 5,000 Jobs In March

The manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy lost another 5,000 jobs in March, even as non-farm payroll employment increased by 211,000 jobs, the U.S. Labor Department reported on April 7.

Within manufacturing, jobs added by computer makers and manufacturers of electronic products were more than offset by layoffs among textile makers and manufacturers of plastics and rubber products. During the past 12 months, U.S. manufacturing employment has declined by 56,000.

Total non-farm payroll employment rose mainly on the strength of the service sector. Professional and business services, a sector that includes computer systems design and management and consulting services, posted a gain -- as did retail trade, health care, and leisure and hospitality, the labor Department said.

The overall U.S. unemployment rate fell a tenth of a percentage point in March to 4.7%, back to its January 2006 level.

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