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US private payrolls miss expectations in March -ADP


People line up outside a newly reopened career center for in-person appointments in Louisville, U.S., April 15, 2021. REUTERS/Amira Karaoud

U.S. private employers hired far fewer workers than expected in March, suggesting that the labor market was cooling.

Private employment increased by 145,000 jobs last month, the ADP National Employment report showed on Wednesday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast private employment increasing 200,000.

Data for February was revised higher to show 261,000 jobs added instead of 242,000 as previously reported.

The labor market is slowing as higher borrowing costs dampen demand in the economy. The government reported on Tuesday that there were 9.9 million job openings at the end of February. Still, there were 1.7 job openings for every unemployed worker in February, attesting to the labor market’s tightness.

The ADP report, jointly developed with the Stanford Digital Economy Lab, was published ahead of the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics’ more comprehensive and closely watched employment report for March on Friday. It has not been a reliable gauge in forecasting private payrolls in the BLS employment report.

According to a Reuters survey of economists, private payrolls likely increased by 215,000 jobs in March. With gains expected in government employment, total nonfarm payrolls are forecast to have risen by 240,000 jobs last month after increasing 311,000 in February.

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