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ADP: Jobs growth in March misses expectations

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ADP: Jobs growth in March misses expectations

Middle market creates 62,000 jobs; 189,000 jobs created during the month overall.

Private sector employment increased by 189,000 jobs from January to February, according to payroll processing giant ADP. Middle market companies added 62,000 new workers, which comprised 33% of the total.  It was the lowest job creation figure since January 2014.

Analysts had expected an increase of 225,000 overall.

“Job growth took a step back in March."

Goods-producing employment rose by only 5,000 jobs in March, down from 22,000 jobs gained in February. The construction industry added 17,000 jobs, down from 28,000 last month. Meanwhile, manufacturing lost 1,000 jobs in March, after adding 2,000 in February.

Service-providing employment rose by 184,000 jobs in March, down from 192,000 in February. The report indicates that professional/business services contributed 40,000 jobs in March, up from February’s 34,000. Expansion in trade/transportation/utilities grew by 25,000, a decline from February’s 32,000. The 16,000 new jobs added in financial activities is a drop from last month’s 19,000.

"March job gains came in under 200,000 for the first time since January of last year,” said Carlos Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of ADP. “The decline was centered in the largest companies, those with 1000 or more employees.”

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “Job growth took a step back in March. The fallout from the collapse in oil prices and surge in value of the dollar is hitting the job market. Despite the slowdown, underlying job growth remains strong enough to reduce labor market slack.”

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