ADP Report: Private Employers Added 212K Jobs in February

ADP Feb 2015Whether it was the brutal weather, fewer work days, or other causes, private employers added the fewest new jobs in February since last May. ADP’s National Employment report said private employer payrolls grew by 212,000 last month, a decrease of 38,000 from January’s revised numbers.

The count was smaller than economists were expecting. A Reuters survey put their average forecast at 220,000 jobs. The Wall Street Journal‘s survey put the forecast at 215,000.

“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.

The HR services and payroll processor and its data partner Moody’s Analytics, said job gains were spread mostly among four of the five sectors tracked in the report. Manufacturing, with only 3,000 new jobs, had the smallest gain. Professional and business services added the most, growing by 34,000 jobs.

The financial activities sector added 20,000 jobs, its largest increase in the ADP tally since  March 2006.

ADP Feb 2015 change by sectorBusinesses with fewer than 50 employees led the jobs growth, adding 94,000 new workers. The biggest employers, those with more than 1,000 employees, added 38,000 jobs.

While February’s hiring was smaller than the revised January count (ADP initially reported 213,000 new jobs for that month), economists don’t necessarily read much into it. JPMorgan economist Daniel Silver told Reuters, “The ADP report shows that payrolls continue to increase at a solid pace through February.” He also discounted the effect of winter weather, noting that the nation’s construction industry added 31,000 jobs during the month.

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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.”

The Conference Board’s count of online job postings grew by 181,000 in February, its biggest gain in more than two years. The 5.5 million listings is the largest count since the Help Wanted OnLine Data Series began in May 2005.

“Online labor demand has shown a very strong start in 2015, with demand increasing 334,500 across the first two months of the year,” said Gad Levanon, Managing Director, Macroeconomic and Labor Market Research. “These increases are a positive sign for continued growth in employment.”

Friday, the U.S. Labor Department will issue the government employment report. Economists are expecting the report, which includes government hiring, to show about 240,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate is predicted to tick down to 5.6 percent from January’s 5.7 percent.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


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