- Associated Press - Friday, May 5, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - If you were looking for a job last month, you might have found one involving food or fun.

A category that includes hotels, restaurants, bars, casinos and amusement parks posted the biggest job gains in April - 55,000 positions. That sector has been one of the most consistent job creators in recent years, having added more than 300,000 in the past 12 months. Restaurants, in particular, are benefiting from shifting consumer preferences for experiences over material goods.

Health care extended its winning streak with nearly 20,000 added jobs in hospitals, clinics and home health services. Professional and business services - a sector that includes accountants, consultants and administrative support - added 39,000.

Retailers continued to struggle, adding just 6,300 jobs after losing a combined 56,000 in February and March.

Information was the sole sector to shed jobs in April, losing 7,000 in publishing, broadcast and telecommunications.

Overall, employers added 211,000 jobs in April. The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.4 percent from 4.5 percent.

Industry (change from previous month) April 2017 March 2017 Past 12 months
Construction 5,000 1,000 173,000
Manufacturing 6,000 13,000 40,000
Retail 6,300 -27,400 75,000
Transportation, warehousing 3,500 6,600 83,500
Information (Telecom, publishing) -7,000 -6,000 -46,000
Financial services 19,000 4,000 173,000
Professional services (Accounting, engineering, temp work) 39,000 57,000 612,000
Education and health 41,000 10,000 512,000
Hotels, restaurants, entertainment 55,000 9,000 304,000
Government 17,000 2,000 179,000
Source: Labor Department

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