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Soft job growth in US private sector, ADP reports

March 05 2014

Private-sector employment in the U.S. rose by 139,000 jobs in February from January, well below the average over the last 12 months, according to Automatic Data Processing Inc.’s (NASD: ADP) national employment report released today. Additionally, January’s private-sector jobs figure was revised down to 127,000.

The figures fall short of the six-month average of 186,000 and the three-month average of 153,000.

“February was another soft month for the job market,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, which produces the report with ADP.  “Employment was weak across a number of industries. Bad winter weather, especially in mid-month, weighed on payrolls. Job growth is expected to improve with warmer temperatures.”

According to ADP's report, the service-providing sector added 120,000 jobs in February, up from a downwardly revised January figure of 116,000. The goods-producing sector added 19,000 jobs in February, up from a downwardly revised figure of 12,000 in January.

Small firms added the most jobs in the month with 59,000. Large companies followed with 44,000 and medium-sized businesses added 35,000 jobs.

The report is derived from a sample of ADP data from 411,000 U.S. business clients representing nearly 24 million U.S. employees. The report’s methodology utilizes ADP payroll data, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data, and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank’s Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti Business Conditions Index.

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