The U.S. economy added 275,000 private sector jobs in April, according to a report released Wednesday, signaling continued strength in the labor market.
The ADP National Employment Report, a closely watched gauge of private sector hiring, blew past economists’ expectations. The average estimate called for private employers to add 180,000 jobs to their payrolls.
ADP’s analysis, conducted each month with Moody’s Analytics, is released two days before the Labor Department’s monthly employment report and is considered a key preview of the federal government's measurement of the hiring situation.
“The job market is holding firm, as businesses work hard to fill open positions,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s. “The economic soft patch at the start of the year has not materially impacted hiring.”
April's unexpectedly large increase is the latest in a string of positive economic news capping off the first quarter of the year.
U.S. gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the first three months of the year, according to federal data released last week. And the Commerce Department on Monday said consumer spending in March rose at the highest rate in close to a decade.
President TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE has highlighted the figures and how they are exceeding expectations. Trump is expected to make the economy a key campaign issue heading into 2020.
Economists had widely expected the economy to slow this year, but recent economic data has prompted some analysts to boost their projections.
“April posted an uptick in growth after the first quarter appeared to signal a moderation following a strong 2018,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute.
Even so, Zandi attributed much of the April payroll increase to technical factors and said there are signs of slowing in the labor market.
“April’s job gains overstate the economy’s strength, but they make the case that expansion continues on,” Zandi said.