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Quality of jobs improves in weak month of hiring

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The Associated Press | October 22, 2013 02:31 PM EST | AP


Few would argue that September's job totals were impressive. But there was at least one positive takeaway from the mostly disappointing figures: Many of the jobs that were created are in higher-paying fields.

Construction payrolls increased by 20,000 last month, the biggest gain for the industry since February. Those firms have added an average of 16,000 jobs a month over the past 12 months.

It was also a good month for transportation and warehousing companies: They added 23,400 jobs, the best for the industry since December.

And governments gained 22,000 jobs, led by a burst of hiring at the state level. That marked the second straight five-figure increase for the public sector. A third month is unlikely. The 16-day partial government shutdown is expected to weigh heavily on October government payrolls.

September was a tough month for leisure and hospitality employees, some of the nation's lowest-paid workers. Hotels and restaurants cut 13,000 jobs last month. And those businesses have added a total of just 5,000 jobs from June through September. Still, hotels and restaurants have created 359,000 jobs over the past year.

Here's a look at the jobs added or lost in each major industry category: