In its first decline since September, manufacturing companies dropped 1,000 jobs. Overall the economy created 243,000 more jobs in February, up strongly from a revised 170,000 the month before, the Labor Department announced March 10.
Goods-producing industries added 45,000 jobs, including a surprising gain of 41,000 in construction.
Services industries added 198,000 jobs, including 47,000 in education and health services and 39,000 in professional and business services. Retail added 7,000 jobs.
The jobless rate ticked up to 4.8% in February from a five-year low of 4.7% as more people came back to the jobs market.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006