U.S. private employers maintained a strong pace of hiring in March, in a boost to the labor market, data showed on Wednesday.
Private payrolls increased by 455,000 jobs last month, the ADP National Employment Report showed. Data for February was revised higher to show 486,000 jobs added instead of the initially reported 475,000. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast private payrolls would increase by 450,000 jobs.
Demand for workers is being boosted by the rolling back of COVID-19 restrictions across the country amid a massive decline in coronavirus cases. There is no sign that Russia's more than one-month long war against Ukraine has hurt the labor market.
First-time applications for unemployment benefits are at 52-1/2-year lows, while the number of Americans on jobless rolls is the smallest since 1970.
The ADP report is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics and was published ahead of the Labor Department's more comprehensive and closely watched employment report for March on Friday. It has, however, a poor record predicting the private payrolls count in the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics employment report because of methodology differences.
Government data on Tuesday showed there a near record 11.3 million job openings on the last day of February, which left the jobs-workers gap at 3.0% of the labor force and close to the post war high of 3.2% in December. According to a Reuters survey of economists, nonfarm payrolls likely increased by 490,000 jobs in March. The economy created 678,000 jobs in February.
© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.