The animal spirits in the jobs report

Some industries punched well above their weight, contributing more to job gains than their share of overall employment. Mining — particularly in areas such as coal, as opposed to oil and gas — saw the biggest turnaround: In the three months through February, employment grew at an annualized rate of 9.2 percent, compared with an annualized decline of 4.5 percent during the previous five years. Construction, including heavy and civil engineering, rose at a 6.7 percent pace, up from 3.9 percent in the previous five years. Other winners included machinery and finance. Here’s a chart…

What’s so special about these sectors? One possible explanation is that they’re expecting to gain from Trump’s policies. The president has already signed orders easing restrictions on coal miners, and has pledged to revive production. His plan to invest $1 trillion in roads, bridges and other infrastructure should be good for construction (though warm February weather may also have played a role), and certain domestic manufacturers could benefit — at least in the short term — from his efforts to raise barriers to imports. In finance, he has promised to roll back regulation and has ordered a review of a retirement-advice rule that much of the industry had opposed.

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