Few would argue that September's job totals were impressive. But there was at least one positive takeaway from the mostly disappointing figures: Many of the jobs that were created are in higher-paying fields.

Construction payrolls increased by 20,000 last month, the biggest gain for the industry since February. Those firms have added an average of 16,000 jobs a month over the past 12 months.

It was also a good month for transportation and warehousing companies: They added 23,400 jobs, the best for the industry since December.

And governments gained 22,000 jobs, led by a burst of hiring at the state level. That marked the second straight five-figure increase for the public sector. A third month is unlikely. The 16-day partial government shutdown is expected to weigh heavily on October government payrolls.

September was a tough month for leisure and hospitality employees, some of the nation's lowest-paid workers. Hotels and restaurants cut 13,000 jobs last month. And those businesses have added a total of just 5,000 jobs from June through September. Still, hotels and restaurants have created 359,000 jobs over the past year.

Here's a look at the jobs added or lost in each major industry category:

Industry September August Past
12 Months
Construction 20,000 2,000 193,000
Manufacturing 2,000 13,000 38,000
Retail 20,800 31,900 367,300
Transportation, warehousing 23,400 6,300 56,400
Information (telecom, publishing) 4,000 -17,000 17,000
Financial services -2,000 -3,000 94,000
Professional services (accounting, temp work) 32,000 30,000 641,000
Education and health 14,000 61,000 348,000
Hotels, restaurants, entertainment -13,000 21,000 359,000
Government 22,000 32,000 -65,000
 Source: Labor Department

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.