Tags: US | Private | Sector | Jobs

US Private Sector Adds 216,000 Jobs, ADP Says

Wednesday, 07 March 2012 08:26 AM

The pace of job creation by private employers accelerated in February, reinforcing hopes that Friday's broader payrolls report would confirm the labor market recovery has moved into a higher gear.

The private sector added 216,000 jobs last month, the ADP National Employment Report showed on Wednesday, topping economists' expectations for a gain of 208,000.

January's payrolls figures were revised up to an increase of 173,000 from 170,000.

U.S. stock index futures added to gains immediately after the data, while US Treasury debt prices held steady at lower levels.

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

"This does suggest we are moving in the right direction," said Beth Ann Bovino, senior U.S. economist at Standard & Poor's Ratings Services in New York.

"It supports the expectations of another 200,000-plus in Friday's payroll report. The jobs numbers are looking healthier."

Economists polled by Reuters are expecting Friday's report to show a gain of 210,000 in overall nonfarm payrolls, with the addition of 225,000 jobs in the private sector.

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 Macroeconomic Advisers LLC.

Another report on Wednesday also spelled better news for U.S. workers. Wages rose much faster than first reported in the fourth-quarter, according to Labor Department data.

Alongside unemployment, the U.S. housing market has dragged on the economy.

Separate reports on Wednesday provided mixed signals that the housing market might have seen the worst.

U.S. home prices fell for the sixth month in a row in January as the market continued to be hampered by cheaper distressed sales, data analysis firm CoreLogic said.

But excluding distressed sales, prices rose 0.7 percent in January and were off just 0.9 percent on a yearly basis.

With U.S. housing prices down about a third from their pre-crisis peak, some buyers are being lured into the market.

Applications for U.S. mortgages to buy homes rose last week although demand for refinancing was weaker, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.

© 2021 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 07 March 2012 08:26 AM
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