Companies in U.S. added 241,000 workers in march, ADP data show

(Bloomberg) – Companies added more workers than forecast to U.S. payrolls in March, signaling the job market remains robust, according to data released Wednesday from the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey.

Highlights of ADP Employment (March)

Private payrolls rose by 241k (est. 210k) after upwardly revised 246k gain in February Payrolls in goods-producing industries, which include builders and manufacturers, rose 65k after a 42k rise Service providers added 176k jobs to payrolls following 204k in February

Key Takeaways

The four-month average gain of close to 245,000 is the strongest stretch since late 2014. The results are a positive sign for official data on private payrolls, which will be released Friday as part of the monthly jobs report by the Labor Department. The median estimate for that figure is 190,000, after a 287,000 gain in February.

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The ADP report shows the job market remains solid, which bodes well for consumer spending. Gains in business investment mean companies are likely to keep hiring, though employers continue to say there’s a shortage of skilled workers.

Economist’s View

“The job market is rip-roaring. Monthly job growth remains firmly over 200,000, double the pace of labor force growth. The tight labor market continues to tighten,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said in a statement. Moody’s produces the figures with ADP.

Other Details

Hiring in construction rose by 31,000 in March; factories added 29,000 workers Professional and business services added 44,000 to their workforces while education and health services added 28,000 workers Companies employing 500 or more workers increased staffing by 67,000 jobs; payrolls rose by 127,000 at medium-sized businesses, or those with 50 to 499 employees; and small companies’ payrolls rose by 47,000