The Bureau of Labor Statistics released new figures Friday that show that the manufacturing sector lost more than 100,000 jobs in January, with the most job losses occurring in manufacturing and construction.
The number of manufacturing jobs fell by 2.2 million, while construction employment fell by 1.9 million.
The Bureau said that in February, the construction sector lost nearly 865,000 workers.
The number of people in manufacturing jobs in the first quarter of 2017 fell by nearly 4 million, with fewer than 5.2% of manufacturing workers in the labor force.
The manufacturing sector has been struggling in recent years as a result of automation and globalization, particularly in auto production.
That trend accelerated last year, as China took over the auto industry, and a wave of automation pushed the cost of parts to record levels.
Manufacturing employment in the United States fell by a total of nearly 14.3 million in the January-February quarter.
The unemployment rate was 8.1%.