Report: Private-sector employers added 220,000 jobs in April

 

Private-sector employers ramped up hiring in April, a positive sign for the economy heading into warmer-weather months after a long cold winter.

Businesses added 220,000 jobs, the best performance in the past 12 months except for the 245,000 posted in November, according to ADP’s National Employment report released Wednesday.

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The ADP report provides a signal that Friday’s jobs report will reflect a solid boost after months of cold temperatures that tamped down hiring and consumer activity.

Forecasts are running between 210,000 and 230,000 for the government’s April data, which includes public and private employment.

Hiring for March was revised up to 209,000 from 191,000, the ADP report showed.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, called the survey a "solid report" that shows consistent growth across all sectors and sizes of businesses, an important step for the economy’s expansion, which sagged in the first three months of the year.

The economy trudged along in the January-March quarter, growing at a 0.1 percent annual pace, well below the anemic 1 percent forecast after the 2.6 percent expansion in the fourth quarter of last year.

However, he said that manufacturing is still "soft" and there is still considerable slack in the labor market and it could take upward of three years to absorb the excess labor.

Manufacturing added only 1,000 jobs while construction firms added 19,000. The bulk of the hiring was concentrated in transportation and professional services.