US Private Sector Adds 200k New Jobs

Published by: Kelly Curtis on 30th Mar 2011 | View all blogs by Kelly Curtis
US Private Sector Adds 200k New Jobs

The long-struggling US labor market, according to a string of positive reports issued this week, is showing some signs of life.  Released Wednesday, ADP's Employer Services report showed that private employers across the nation added 201,000 new jobs in March, a figure that was about equal with economists' predictions.  ADP's report is published jointly with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC.  The group revised February's figure, meanwhile, down to 208,000 from a previously reported 217,000.

Analysts say the numbers were basically in line with economists' expectations, and show that the economic recovery is continuing at a reasonable pace.  Most also agree that further improvement in the labor market will serve as a buffer against weak performances in sectors like housing.  The ADP report precedes the the government's more comprehensive jobs report, which will outline both private sector jobs as well as government payrolls when it is released Friday.

Labor Department's jobs report is expected to show the nation's economy created 190,000 new jobs in March, according to the median projection of analysts who participated in a recent Reuters survey.  A separate report released by Challenger, Gray & Christmas on Wednesday showed the number of planned layoffs at American companies fell in March after rising sharply in February.  US employers announced 41,528 planned layoffs this month, 18 percent less than the 50,702 planned job cuts in February, according to the report.

Overall, US employers have announced 130,749 planned layoffs in the first three months of 2011, the lowest total reported for a first quarter since 1995.  The area that has been hardest-hit by job cuts in 2011 so far is government, where job losses are expected to continue as struggling state and local governments continue to address budget crises.

Economists commonly address ADP's jobs report to help make their final predictions of what the government numbers will be, though the report sometimes varies widely from the trailing Labor Department numbers.  The slow pace of recovery in the nation's job market has been a major hurdle to the overall recovery, but recent data has convinced some economists that a strong recovery is underway.

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