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) -- The recovery in the housing sector is beginning to contribute significantly to employment growth in the United States.

The economy added 236,000 jobs during February, the Department of Labor said Friday, beating expectations for just 160,000, among economists polled by Thomson Reuters.

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Job Growth Roars in February


According to Trulia's chief economist Jed Kolko, employment growth in housing-related sectors outperformed overall employment growth.

While overall employment is up 1.5% year-over-year, residential construction jobs are up 3.1% , while all other housing-related jobs in manufacturing, finance, real estate and trade have risen 2.7%, the economist noted in a

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Construction activity is picking up on the back of a housing recovery, with the number of units under construction jumping 29% in January. So it is no surprise that construction jobs saw robust growth in February.

About 48,000 construction jobs were created on a seasonally adjusted basis in February, with residential construction adding 8,500 jobs, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

"Residential construction employment is up 3.1% -- twice the overall employment growth rate of 1.5%. But other sectors are seeing job growth, too: employment among housing-related wholesalers and retailers - like building-supply stores - is up 2.0%, and job growth is up more than 10% in mortgage and housing-related finance jobs, too," Kolko wrote.

Housing-related employment is up 5% from its trough but it is still 28% below its peak. Residential construction, too, remains 39% below its peak.

-- Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York.

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