Washington is becoming a region of more waiters and information technology consultants -- and relatively fewer telecom workers and government employees, based on payroll statistics the Labor Department released last week.

Overall, the region is creating jobs at an unusually steady pace: It added 79,100 jobs in the 12 months that ended in May, about the same as the comparable periods that ended in April and March, and so on back to last fall.

But not all industries are adding jobs at the same rate. Overall job growth was 2.8 percent in the 12 months ended in May, so a growth rate higher than that signifies expansion as a proportion of the local economy, while anything lower indicates shrinkage.

The leaders include the leisure and hospitality sector, which includes restaurant, hotel and other tourism-related workers. That sector, severely damaged by the 2001 terrorist attacks, is now adding jobs at a 5.4 percent annual rate. Professional and business services, which includes many information technology consultants, lawyers and other professionals is another big winner, with 4.4 percent growth. Construction and mining rose 4.1 percent.

The big loser was the information sector, which declined 0.6 percent. And the financial activities sector, while adding jobs, is shrinking relative to the region as a whole, growing at a mere 1.5 percent pace. Government employment rose even slower, at a 1 percent pace.

-- Neil Irwin