Labour market recovery boosts optimism on US

AN ADP report yesterday showed that private employers added 201,000 jobs in March – slightly below consensus expectations for an increase of 208,000 jobs.

Small and medium firm payroll growth remained strong in March, adding 102,000 and 82,000 jobs, while large firms added 17,000 jobs.

“This indicates continued momentum in the pace of labour market recovery,” said Nicholas Tenev of Barclays Capital Research.

Separate data yesterday showed applications for US home mortgages tumbled last week as higher interest rates sapped demand for loan refinancing. Another report showed the number of planned layoffs at US firms fell in March after spiking up the month before.

Employers announced 41,528 planned job cuts this month, down 18 per cent from February, according to the report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas.