US private sector adds more jobs than forecast

City A.M. Reporter
US private employers added 217,000 jobs in February, beating analysts' expectations, new data from payrolls processor ADP has shown.

The figure beats forecasts from economists, for a rise of 175,000 in February. The January figure was revised higher to 189,000 from 187,000.

The ADP Employer Services report, jointly developed with Macroeconomic Advisers, comes ahead of the government's much more comprehensive labour market report on Friday, which includes both public and private sector employment.

That report is expected to show a rise in overall nonfarm payrolls of 185,000 last month and a rise of 190,000 in private payrolls.

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.

Analysts expect nonfarm payrolls to have soared in February after being held down by extreme winter weather that gripped large parts of the country in January.

Employment is expected to have increased by 185,000, which would be the largest gain in almost a year and the clearest signal yet that a self-sustaining economic recovery is taking root.

But payrolls in recent months have tended to fall far short of economists' expectations, even though independent labour market surveys have largely pointed to momentum in the pace of
job creation.