By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP)- In a month when auto plants usually shut down to retool for next year’s models, the sector added a solid 14,600 jobs, according to the government’s employment report released Friday.

That increase accounted for more than half the 28,000 manufacturing jobs added last month, the strongest such gain since November 2013.

Automakers helped drive hiring in July.

Spurring the hiring has been stronger auto buying. Sales for Chrysler, Toyota, Ford and Nissan each rose by double-digits in July compared with the same month last year.

More people are borrowing to buy all of those cars and trucks. The Credit Union National Association said that among its members, auto loans for new vehicles have risen 19.4 percent year-over-year from June 2014.

A total of 209,000 jobs were added last month. The unemployment rate rose from 6.1 percent to 6.2 percent because more people began looking for work and were newly counted as unemployed.

Residential construction added 13,000 of the sector’s 22,000 added jobs, even though home sales have been relatively sluggish. The architectural and engineering sector added 8,800.

Retailers contributed 26,700 jobs.

Nearly all the 11,000 public sector jobs added in July came from local governments. Almost every major industry boosted their number of jobs, including transportation and warehousing, financial services, and hotels and restaurants.

Industry                                                                       July 2014           June 2014           Past 12 months
Construction                                                                 22,000                    10,000                        211,000
Manufacturing                                                              28,000                    23,000                        178,000
Retail                                                                             26,700                     41,200                        297,600
Transportation, warehousing                                       7,900                     14,800                        150,800
Information (Telecom, publishing)                              2,000                     10,000                         -31,000
Financial services                                                           7,000                     17,000                          50,000
Professional services (Accntg, temp work)                47,000                    73,000                        648,000
Education and health                                                  17,000                    45,000                         375,000
Hotels, restaurants, entertainment                           21,000                    23,000                         375,000
Government                                                                 11,000                    28,000                           91,000

Source: Labor Department