US firms added most workers in nine months in April
U.S. companies added the most workers since July last month amid gains in services and medium-sized businesses, according to private data, pointing to a robust jobs market ahead of the government’s monthly jobs report Friday.
Private payrolls increased by 275,000 after an upwardly revised 151,000 gain in March, according to ADP Research Institute data released Wednesday that exceeded all economist estimates in Bloomberg’s survey. Hiring by service providers surged by 223,000, the most in nearly three years.
The rebound from the prior month, revised up from an initial reading that was the weakest in 18 months, shows the labor market remains on even footing as companies strive to hire and retain workers. Official data Friday are forecast to show April payroll growth just above the 180,000 average over the past three months.
“The job market is holding firm, as businesses work hard to fill open positions,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said in a statement. Moody’s produces the figures with ADP. “The economic soft patch at the start of the year has not materially impacted hiring. April’s job gains overstate the economy’s strength, but they make the case that expansion continues.”
Goods-producing jobs rose by 52,000, led by construction, while natural resources and mining saw a decline of 2,000. The gain in service providers was led by professional and business services, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality.
Small business payrolls increased while medium-sized firms expanded by 145,000 jobs, the most since 2010. The pace of hiring at large companies slowed to 53,000. ADP’s payroll data represent about 411,000 firms employing nearly 24 million workers in the U.S.