* Private sector adds 209,000 jobs in March
* Report does not change expectations for nonfarm payrolls
NEW YORK, April 4 U.S. businesses added 209,000
jobs in March, suggesting the recent improvement in the labor
market continuing, a report by a payrolls processor showed on
The ADP National Employment Report was slightly above
economists' expectations for a gain of 200,000 jobs. Analysts
said it did not change their forecasts for the government's more
comprehensive labor market report due on Friday, which includes
both public and private sector employment.
Job gains for January and February were also revised up to
182,000 and 230,000, respectively. The report is jointly
developed with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC.
"My conclusion is the employment growth trend that we've
seen over the last year remains in place and we probably will
see a decent employment number on Friday when the Department of
Labor reports non-farm payrolls," said Fred Dickson, chief
market strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co in Lake Oswego, Oregon.
The nonfarm payrolls report from the U.S. Labor Department
is expected to show a gain of 203,000 jobs last month, including
a rise in private payrolls of 218,000.
The Labor Department report has shown the economy added more
than 200,000 jobs in each of the last three months, helping to
keep the economic recovery on track.
Federal Reserve policymakers backed away from the need to
begin a third round of monetary stimulus to boost the economy as
the recovery gradually improves, minutes from the central bank's
last meeting showed on Tuesday.
Still, the central bank's assessment of the economy remained
cautious. Economists expect growth to have slowed in the first
quarter compared to the 3.0 percent annualized rate in the final
months of last year.
Economists often refer to the ADP report to fine-tune their
expectations for the Labor Department's payrolls numbers, though
the two sets of data are not always well correlated.
The average difference between ADP's figures and the
government-reported private jobs numbers over the last 12 months
was 1,000, according to Credit Suisse.
U.S. stock index futures trimmed losses immediately after
the data, but were pointing to a lower open for Wall Street in
the early morning as investors took in the Fed's comments.