The real estate industry added 10,000 jobs in March following a month that saw a loss of 4,500 jobs, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Labor released Friday.

Non-farm payrolls increased 10 percent for real estate between February and March, and they increased 1.7 percent for rental and leasing services.

Construction also saw substantial gains during March, adding 110,000 jobs following a loss of 56,000 jobs the month before, which had likely been a result of widespread severe winter storms. The sector’s gains were largely in specialty trade contractors with more than 50 percent of the sector’s gains resulting from new specialty trade contractor jobs.

Overall, the U.S. added 916,000 jobs in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, hitting its highest pace since August. The unemployment rate declined slightly to 6.0 percent from 6.2 percent in February to a total of 9.7 million unemployed persons.

As more and more of the country continues to get vaccinated, the job gains signal that the country is preparing for reinvigorated business operations, as consumers become more comfortable with the idea of spending on leisure activities like dining, shopping and travel again.

Most U.S. industries saw gains in March, led by 280,000 jobs added in leisure and hospitality.

“There’s a seismic shift going on in the U.S. economy,” Beth Ann Bovino, a Ph.D. economist at S&P Global, told the Wall Street Journal. “Fear is subsiding, and American households are sitting on a lot of cash” from saved stimulus checks and other money people would normally spend on travel or going out. “That’s going to support spending, especially in the services sector.”

Email Lillian Dickerson

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