WASHINGTON — Domestic apparel producers in March employed 1,000 fewer workers than in February and jobs in U.S. textile mills remained constant, the Labor Department said Friday.
Apparel makers last month employed 655,000 workers, 45,300 fewer than in March 1999, and there were 550,000 textile workers, 19,300 below year-ago levels.
Employment in department stores dropped 16,000 for the month to 2.76 million. However, in the year since March 1999, department stores added 361,000 jobs. Jobs in apparel and accessories stores dipped 3,000 in March to 1.19 million, but that is still 58,000 above last year’s payrolls.
Meanwhile, the overall national employment picture last month continued to be bright. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, even as 416,000 workers were added to business payrolls. The service sector created the bulk of these positions, or 328,000 posts.