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ADP: Jobs growth in February misses expectations

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ADP: Jobs growth in February misses expectations

Middle market creates 63,000 jobs; 212,000 jobs created during the month overall.

Private sector employment increased by 212,000 jobs from January to February, according to payroll processing giant ADP. Middle market companies added 63,000 new workers, which comprised 30% of the total.

Analysts had expected an increase of 220,000 overall.

Goods-producing employment rose by 31,000 jobs in February, down from 45,000 jobs gained in January. The construction industry added 31,000 jobs, the same number as last month. Meanwhile, manufacturing added 3,000 jobs in February, well below January’s 15,000.

Service-providing employment rose by 181,000 jobs in February, down from 206,000 in January. The report indicates that professional/business services contributed 34,000 jobs in February, a drop-off from January’s 49,000. Expansion in trade/transportation/utilities grew by 31,000, a sharp decline from January’s 50,000. The 20,000 new jobs added in financial activities is an increase from last month’s 15,000 and marks the largest gain in that sector since March 2006.

"While February’s job gains came in slightly lower than recent months, the trend of solid growth above 200,000 jobs per month continued,” said Carlos Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of ADP. “What is also encouraging is that job gains are broad-based across all key industries.”

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “Job growth is strong, but slowing from the torrid pace of recent months. Job gains remain broad-based, although the collapse in oil prices has begun to weigh on energy-related employment. At the current pace of growth, the economy will return to full employment by mid-2016.”

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