Job market still very healthy: Economist
NEW YORK (Reuters) — U.S. private employers added 214,000 jobs in February, above economists' expectations, suggesting solid job growth despite market turmoil and worries about a slowing global economy, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 190,000 jobs, with estimates ranging from 160,000 to 225,000.
Private payroll gains in the month earlier were revised down to 193,000 from an originally reported 205,000 increase.
The report is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics.
"It's still a very strong report. The jobs market is very healthy," Moody's Analytics' chief economist Mark Zandi said on a conference call with reporters.
If companies continue to expand their payrolls, the economy would achieve full employment by mid-year, he said.
The ADP figures come ahead of the U.S. Labor Department's more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report on Friday, which includes both public and private-sector employment.
Economists polled by Reuters are looking for U.S. private payroll employment to have grown by 185,000 jobs in February, up from 158,000 the month before. Total non-farm employment is expected to be 190,000.
The unemployment rate is forecast to stay steady at 4.9 per cent, unchanged from a month earlier.
While overall job conditions in the private sector showed strength last month, there were a few worrying signs, according to ADP.
Manufacturers shed 9,000 jobs, which was the second biggest decline in five years, while the financial sector added 8,000 workers which were the fewest hires since August 2015.