Economy Creates Healthy 215K Jobs

Total U.S. employment rose by 215,000 in March.

Total U.S. employment rose by 215,000 in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday, with the number of jobs increasing in retail trade, health care and construction—all sectors that have a bearing in one way or another on commercial real estate. Job losses continued to occur in manufacturing and mining, because of the continued energy slump.

Retail trade added 48,000 jobs in March, with gains in general merchandise stores (the likes of Walmart, up 12,000), health and personal care stores (up 10,000), building material and garden supply stores (up 10,000), and automobile dealers (up 5,000). Over the past 12 months, retail trade has added 378,000 jobs.

Employment in health care increased by 37,000 over the month, about in line with the average monthly gain over the last 12 months. In March, employment rose in ambulatory health care services, the sort of places that tend to take retail space (up 27,000) and hospitals (up 10,000). Year-over-year, health care employment has increased by 503,000.

Construction employment rose by 37,000 in March. Both residential specialty trade contractors saw job gains (up 12,000), as did heavy and civil engineering construction (up 11,000). Over the last 12 months, construction has added 301,000 jobs.