U.S. private sector adds 139,000 jobs in February: ADP

NEW YORK Wed Mar 5, 2014 8:47am EST

Hundreds of job seekers wait in line with their resumes to talk to recruiters (right) at the Colorado Hospital Association health care career fair in Denver April 9, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Hundreds of job seekers wait in line with their resumes to talk to recruiters (right) at the Colorado Hospital Association health care career fair in Denver April 9, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. private employers added 139,000 jobs in February, shy of economists' expectations, and gains in the previous month were revised lower, 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 160,000 jobs.

The data once again is clouded by harsh winter weather, which has made it hard for economists and investors to measure the strength of the U.S. economy.

"As you head to Friday's payroll report, you are looking at another month of weather effect," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

"It still suggests things are improving but it's hard to gauge the exact strength of the job market. Things should look less distorted in March and April. Spring is make or break time for (the) economy."

Private payrolls for January were revised down to a gain of 127,000 from the previously reported 175,000.

Stock index futures pared slight gains after the data, while U.S. Treasury yields fell. The U.S. dollar slipped against the euro and yen.

The ADP figures come ahead of the government's much more comprehensive labor market report on Friday, which includes both public and private sector employment.

The government report is expected to show a gain in overall nonfarm payrolls of 150,000 for last month, based on a Reuters poll of analysts, and a rise in private payrolls of 154,000.

Economists often refer to the ADP report to fine-tune their expectations for the payrolls numbers, though it is not always accurate in predicting the outcome.

The report is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos, additional reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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Comments (8)
tmc wrote:
still loosing ground…

Mar 05, 2014 8:30am EST  --  Report as abuse
gcf1965 wrote:
I know Lowes/Home Depot in my area are advertising for seasonal hiring. Are these jobs included? If so, remember, in a few months these are gone. Are these “do you want fries with that” jobs or manufacturing, professional, technology jobs?

Mar 05, 2014 9:05am EST  --  Report as abuse
COindependent wrote:
In fairness, it should be acknowledged that “economics” is more an art than a science. Thus, you can have forecasts on the extremes. Typically, these forecasts are broad enough to where each economist can claim some degree of accuracy, without acknowledging that our $15 trillion economy is made up of 6-10 regional economies each with too many factors to accurately predict what will happen at any given point in time.

Even so, the general consensus is we need 250,000 new jobs each month to demonstrate economic growth. 139,000, while positive, means we are merely treading water with the prospect for wage increases extremely small.

Mar 05, 2014 9:53am EST  --  Report as abuse
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