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Manufacturing and construction continue to drive St. Louis job growth

Manufacturing and construction continue to drive St. Louis job growth

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Behind-the-scenes construction tour at the St. Louis Aquairum

Construction is underway for the St. Louis Aquarium on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, at Union Station. The two-story aquarium will be a 120,000 square foot built inside the National Historic Landmark train station. To the left, workers construct on Shark Canyon, which houses sharks and rays in a 250,000 gallon tank that has an acrylic J-shaped wall that arches overhead. The aquarium will open late 2019. This view is looking north toward the hotel. Photo by Laurie Skrivan,

St. Louis area employers added 1,200 jobs in March as the manufacturing and construction industries, along with financial services and health care, continued to lead in hiring.

New seasonally adjusted estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the region's job market stabilizing after a big job gain in January and similarly large loss in February. Metro St. Louis has added 10,700 jobs, a gain of 0.8 percent, since March 2018.

The U.S. job market grew 1.7 percent, more than twice as fast, in the same period.

St. Louis area manufacturers added 4,200 jobs in the last 12 months, while construction and mining firms added 2,000.

Financial services grew by 2,500 jobs and health care by 1,900, but the rest of the service sector was less robust.

Employment shrank by 2,400 in retailing, 500 in education and 400 in leisure and hospitality. The large professional and business services industry, often a bellwether for hiring trends, was flat. Figures for specific industries are not seasonally adjusted.

The BLS also reported Friday that Missouri's unemployment rate rose to 3.3 percent in March from 3.2 percent in February. Illinois' jobless rate edged up to 4.4 percent from 4.3 percent. Unemployment in metro St. Louis was 3.4 percent in February and will be updated May 1.

Weekday updates on the latest news in the St. Louis business community.

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