Private payrolls added 212,000 jobs last month, according to this morning’s ADP National Employment Report. That’s slightly fewer jobs than the 220,000 predicted by economists and the slowest growth in the past six months.
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The gains were primarily in the service-providing sector, which includes trade, transportation, and utilities, as well as financial activities and business services, and added 181,000 jobs. The goods-producing sector, which includes construction and manufacturing, added only 31,000 jobs.
Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees were the biggest gainers: they added 94,000 jobs last month. Medium-sized businesses with 50 to 499 employees added 63,000 jobs, while large businesses with over 500 employees added 56,000 jobs.
“While February’s job gains came in slightly lower than recent months, the trend of solid growth above
200,000 jobs per month continued,” said Carlos Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of ADP, in a statement. “What is also encouraging is that job gains are broad-based across all key industries.”
In particular, financial services presented a bit of good news in the midst of a relatively soft report: its growth, by 15,000 jobs, was the best since 2006.
“Job growth is strong, but slowing from the torrid pace of recent months,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which produces the report with ADP. “Job gains remain broad-based, although the collapse in oil prices has begun to weigh on energy-related employment. At the current pace of growth, the economy will return to full employment by mid-2016.”
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