Private sector employers added 209,000 jobs from February to March, according to the latest national employment report from payroll giant ADP, in the latest sign of a slowly recovering economy.
ADP also revised upward its estimated gains for the previous two months, increasing by 9,000 to 182,000 the number of jobs added from December to January, and by 14,000 to 230,000 the jobs added from January to February.
Of the 209,000 jobs added last month, small businesses with less than 50 employees accounted for 100,000 new jobs, while midsized businesses with between 50 and 499 employees added 87,000 new jobs. The other 22,000 jobs came from large businesses with 500 employees or more.
The goods-producing sector added 45,000 jobs, while the service-providing sector added 164,000 jobs. Among small businesses, the goods-producing sector added 17,000 small business jobs, while the service sector created 83,000 small business jobs.
Manufacturing employment increased by 23,000, while the construction industry added 13,000 workers and the financial services sector added 8,000 jobs.
The gains in the finance and construction industries could be a particularly good sign.
“Those were two sectors that exploded during the great recession,” said Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, which compiles the monthly employment reports with ADP. “I’m heartened to see the upturn there. I expect to see further gains going forward in both construction employment and finance employment, but not to the levels we saw prior to the housing bust. But this is a strong number, and it suggests that part of the economy has found a bottom.”
However, he noted that the economic recovery has not yet reached the next level where employers are adding 300,000 jobs per month or more, which would help lower the unemployment rate as more people return to the workforce.
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