Companies in U.S. add more jobs than expected, ADP data show

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(Bloomberg) – Companies in the U.S. added more workers in February than expected, underscoring continued strengthening in the labor market, according to data released Wednesday from the ADP Research Institute.

Highlights of ADP Employment (February)

Private payrolls increased by 235k (200k est.) after an upwardly revised 244k increase in Jan. Payrolls in goods-producing industries, which include builders and manufacturers, rose 37k Service providers added 198k workers to payrolls

Key Takeaways

The results show a continued trend of robust hiring as companies hunt for employees to fill empty spots. The gains point to sustained consumer spending, which accounts for about 70% of the economy.

Every single sector except information gained jobs in the period. The report is based on ADP’s payroll data, representing about 411,000 firms employing almost 24 million workers in the U.S.

The ADP reading compares with the median estimate of economists for 198,000 private-sector job gains in February, ahead of the Labor Department’s monthly figures due Friday. The unemployment rate probably fell to 4% from 4.1% in the prior month, according to analyst forecasts.

Economist’s View

“The job market is red hot and threatens to overheat,” Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said in the statement. Moody’s produces the figures with ADP. “With government spending increases and tax cuts, growth is set to accelerate.”

Other Details

Construction payrolls increased 21,000 Professional and business services added 46,000 workers, and leisure and hospitality also took on 50,000 employees Large firms, those employing 500 or more workers, increased staffing by 70,000 jobs; payrolls rose by 97,000 at medium-sized businesses, or those with 50 to 499 employees; and small companies added 68,000 jobs

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