U.S. Private Sector Job Growth Slows in February, Missing Expectations -- ADP
By Xavier Fontdegloria
The nonfarm private sector in the U.S. slowed its pace of job
gains in February despite falling Covid-19 infections and the
easing of restrictions in several states, data from ADP National
Employment Report showed Wednesday.
Total U.S. nonfarm private employment increased by 117,000 in
February. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal were
expecting payrolls to increase by a much higher 225,000.
The reading signals that overall hiring offset layoffs in
February, resuming a job market recovery that started in May once
the economy reopened, but it is still far from the strength
signaled by other hard data.
In January, the U.S. private sector registered a gain of 195,000
jobs, up from an initial estimate of 174,000.
"The labor market continues to post a sluggish recovery across
the board," Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP, said.
Medium businesses, between 50 and 499 employees, are the ones
which added the most jobs with an increase of 57,000. Small
businesses, with a maximum of 49 employees, registered 32,000
payroll gains and large businesses, those of at least 500 workers,
created 28,000 jobs.
The service-providing sector created 131,000 jobs, particularly
in health care and social assistance, and leisure and
However, the goods-producing sector registered a decrease of
14,000 jobs, the data showed, particularly in the manufacturing
"We're seeing large-sized companies increasingly feeling the
effects of Covid-19, while job growth in the goods producing sector
pauses," Ms. Richardson said.
The service sector remains well below its pre-pandemic levels,
but the sector is the one that will likely benefit the most over
time with reopenings and increased consumer confidence, she
The report, carried out by the ADP Research Institute along with
Moody's Analytics, is based on data through the 12th of the
The U.S. Department of Labor is expected to release its February
employment report, which covers the same period as the ADP National
Employment Report, on Friday. Economists are expecting it to show
nonfarm payrolls up by 210,000 for the month and the unemployment
rate stable at 6.3% compared with January.
Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 03, 2021 08:49 ET (13:49 GMT)
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