WASHINGTON — Manufacturers added jobs for an eighth straight month in March, driven mainly by companies that produce durable goods like cars, computers and metal products. Hiring in the sector rose by 22,000 in March and has risen 232,000 over the past year.
Health care extended its strong run of gains, adding more than 22,000 jobs in March. The gain was driven by hiring by hospitals, dental clinics and physicians' offices. Professional and business services, which include accounting, advertising and administrative support, added 33,000.
Losing ground in March were the construction and retail sectors. Late spring snowstorms hit the Northeast, closing construction sites and keeping shoppers from stores. Construction companies shed 15,000 jobs, the sharpest monthly drop in three years. Retailers cut 4,400 jobs.
Overall, employers added 103,000 jobs in March. The unemployment rate held steady at 4.1 percent.