WASHINGTON—Paced by gains in transportation equipment, manufacturing added 21,000 jobs last month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported. Transportation boosted employment by 9,700 jobs, according to the bureau.

Within transportation, motor vehicles and parts only added 100 jobs. The auto industry was one of the first manufacturing sectors to resume operations following plant shutdowns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, durable goods added 17,000 jobs, according to the bureau. Besides transportation, job gainers for the month included machinery (up 3,800), miscellaneous manufacturing (up 2,800) and electrical equipment and appliances (up 2,400).

Manufacturing employment totaled 12.238 million in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, which is down 561,000 from February 2020’s 12.799 million. Total non-farm employment rose by 379,000 jobs last month.

The Bureau also revised January’s job increase to 166,000 jobs, after initially reporting it at 49,000. The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 6.2 percent in February from 6.3 percent the month before.