April 4, 2018 10:00 AM, EDT

Companies Add 241,000 Workers in March, ADP Data Show

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Companies added more workers than forecast to U.S. payrolls in March, signaling the job market remains robust, according to data released April 4 from the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, N.J.

Highlights of ADP Employment Report for March

• Private payrolls rose by 241,000 (estimated 210,000) after upwardly revised 246,000 gain in February.

• Payrolls in goods-producing industries, which include builders and manufacturers, rose 65,000 after a 42,000 rise.

• Service providers added 176,000 jobs to payrolls after 204,000 in February.

Key Takeaways

The four-month average gain of close to 245,000 is the strongest stretch since late 2014. The results are a positive sign for official data on private payrolls, which will be released April 6 as part of the monthly jobs report by the Labor Department. The median estimate for that figure is 190,000, after a 287,000 gain in February.

The ADP report shows the job market remains solid, which bodes well for consumer spending. Gains in business investment mean companies are likely to keep hiring, though employers continue to say there’s a shortage of skilled workers.

Economist’s View

“The job market is rip-roaring. Monthly job growth remains firmly over 200,000, double the pace of labor force growth. The tight labor market continues to tighten,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pa., said in a statement. Moody’s produces the figures with ADP.

Other Details

• Hiring in construction rose by 31,000 in March; factories added 29,000 workers.

• Professional and business services added 44,000 to their workforces while education and health services added 28,000 workers.

• Companies employing 500 or more workers increased staffing by 67,000 jobs; payrolls rose by 127,000 at medium-size businesses, or those with 50 to 499 employees; and small companies’ payrolls rose by 47,000.

With assistance by Vince Golle, and Alexandre Tanzi