ADP: 298000 Jobs Added in February; 66000 in Construction

United States private-sector hiring surged in February, posting the biggest increase in almost six years and far outstripping expectations, with big gains in small and medium businesses, payroll services firm ADP reported Wednesday.

'February proved to be an incredibly strong month for employment with increases we have not seen in years, ' Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president of the ADP Research Institute, said in a statement.

The hiring boom in construction was likely driven by unseasonably warm weather in much of the country. This marked the strongest single-month job creation in the United States since April 2014 as the headline figure exceeded estimates by +113K. This was the strongest monthly increase for at least two years. Investors are also optimistic with more evidence emerging of economic growth overseas, including Europe.

The January increase was also revised higher to 261,000 from 246,000 in the original January report.

The PayScale Index, which measures the change in pay for employed USA workers, forecasts 3.2 percent year-over-year wage growth for Q1 2017. For more information, read the full employment report from ADP. It was off just 9,000 in January and 8,000 the previous month.

The official USA unemployment rate is expected to shift downward from 4.8 per cent to 4.7 per cent, in response to the official jobs numbers report, due Friday. Ted Wieseman, an economist at Morgan Stanley, now expects job gains of 250,000, up from 200,000.

The jobs report is considered the final piece of economic data that, if bad, could deter the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates at its meeting next week. Many economists say job gains would have to plummet to roughly 50,000 or less to give the Fed pause.

  • Zachary Reyes