Prior to the release of the monthly ADP National Employment Report, economists polled by Reuters were predicting the addition of 190,000 jobs to private payrolls. This morning’s report beat expectations, reflecting 214,000 jobs added.
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“Despite the turmoil in the global financial markets, the American job machine remains in high gear,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which produces the report with ADP. “Energy and manufacturing remain blemishes on the job market, but other sectors continue to add strongly to payrolls. Full-employment is fast approaching.”
Manufacturing lost 9,000 jobs in February, the second largest decline in five years, while the construction industry added 27,000 jobs, about on par with January’s revised 26,000 jobs. Professional and business services added 59,000 jobs last month, up from last month’s revised 38,000 jobs, and trade, transportation, and utilities added 20,000 jobs, down from 26,000 in February. Financial activities added 8,000 jobs, the lowest addition since August 2015.
Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees added 76,000 jobs in February, while medium-sized companies with between 50 and 499 employees added 62,000. Large businesses with 500 or more employees added 76,000 jobs last month.
“Large businesses showed surprisingly strong job gains in February, despite the continuation of economic trends that negatively impact big companies like turmoil in international markets and a strengthening dollar,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, VP and head of the ADP Research Institute. “The gains were mostly driven by the service sector which accounted for almost all the jobs added by large businesses.”
Economists predict that Friday’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which includes all public and private, non-farm payrolls, will show 195,000 jobs added and an unemployment rate holding steady at 4.9 percent.
The Labor Department’s report also includes data on wage growth – essential information for workers, who’ve been waiting for wages to improve since the end of the recession. Last month’s report showed a 2.5 percent year-over-year increase in average hourly earnings. The PayScale Index, which measures the change in wages for employed U.S. workers, forecasts a 1.4 increase in pay for Q1 2016.
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