WASHINGTON — If you were looking for a job last month, you might have found ample opportunities in construction, retail, restaurants and professional services.

The retail sector led the way in January, adding nearly 46,000 jobs. The gain was fueled by solid hiring at stores selling clothing and accessories, furniture, electronics and appliances, and automobiles.

Construction employment grew by 36,000, the biggest monthly jump for the sector since March. Home building drove much of the gain amid strong demand for new homes. In 2016, developers started work on the most houses and apartments since 2008, according to the Commerce Department.

Also adding jobs at a healthy pace in January were professional and financial services, restaurants and health care. Categories that lost jobs included transportation and government.

Overall, employers added 227,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate ticked up to 4.8 percent from 4.7 percent in December.