Payroll processor ADP released a report on Wednesday showing U.S. private sector employment jumped by much more than expected in the month of February.
ADP said private sector employment surged by 475,000 jobs in February compared to economist estimates for an increase of 388,000 jobs.
The report also showed a substantial revision to the January data, with the revised data showing employment spiked by 509,000 jobs compared to the previously reported loss of 301,000 jobs.
The stronger than expected job growth partly reflected a sharp increase in employment in the service-providing sector, which added 417,000 jobs.
Employment in the leisure and hospitality sector helped lead the way higher, surging up by 170,000 jobs during the month.
The report also showed employment at large businesses spiked by 552,000 jobs in February, more than offsetting the loss of 96,000 jobs at small businesses.
“Last month large companies showed they are well-poised to compete with higher wages and benefit offerings, and posted the strongest reading since the early days of the pandemic recovery,” said Nela Richardson, ADP chief economist.
She added, “Small companies lost ground as they continue to struggle to keep pace with the wages and benefits needed to attract a limited pool of qualified workers.”
On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched monthly employment jobs, which includes both public and private sector jobs.
Economists currently expect employment to jump by 400,000 jobs in February after surging by 467,000 jobs in January. The unemployment rate is expected to edge down to 3.9 percent from 4.0 percent.
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