U.S. employment in the private sector saw continued growth in the month of February, according to a report released by payroll processor Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP) on Wednesday, with the pace of job growth exceeding economist estimates.
ADP said private sector employment increased by 216,000 jobs in February following an upwardly revised increase of 173,000 jobs in January.
Economists had expected employment to increase by about 203,000 jobs compared to the increase of 170,000 jobs that had been reported for the previous month.
Carlos Rodriguez, President and CEO of ADP, said, "This month's employment gains in The ADP National Employment Report continue to be solid, with job growth averaging just over 200,000 for the past five months."
"Also, for February, virtually every sector of the economy added jobs - something I hope will continue for the rest of 2012," he added.
The continued private sector job growth was partly due to a notable increase in employment in the service-providing sector, which added 170,000 jobs in February following an increase of 149,000 jobs in January.
Employment in the goods-producing sector increased by 46,000 jobs in February compared to an increase of 24,000 jobs in the previous month.
ADP noted that manufacturing employment increased by 21,000 jobs in February, while construction employment rose by 16,000 jobs and the financial services sector added 14,000 jobs.
The report also showed that employment at small and medium-size business rose by 108,000 jobs and 88,000 jobs, respectively, while employment at large businesses edged up by 20,000 jobs.
Joel Prakken, Chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, LLC, said, "February's increase marks the twenty- fifth consecutive monthly gain in private employment as measured in the ADP Report and suggests that the national unemployment rate may have declined slightly last month."
"Conditions continue to improve at a moderate pace and are consistent with other indicators suggesting some firming of the labor market," he added.
Friday morning, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its closely watched monthly employment report for February.
The report, which includes government jobs along with private sector jobs, is expected to show that employment rose by about 204,000 jobs in February compared to an increase of 243,000 jobs in January. Nonetheless, the unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 8.3 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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