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Private payrolls grow strong 742,000 as recovery picks up steam

Private payrolls grow strong 742,000 as recovery picks up steam
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The private-sector labor market had a strong showing in April, adding 742,000 jobs, according to payroll company ADP.

March's strong showing was also revised up to 565,000 new jobs from the 517,000 originally reported.

Economists had expected 800,000 new jobs in April, somewhat higher than ADP reported. 

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Still, the latest uptick in jobs is significant and a sign of an economic recovery quickly gaining steam, with nearly a third of the hires coming from the leisure and hospitality sector, which was decimated in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over 85 percent of the new jobs were in the service sector.

"The labor market continues an upward trend of acceleration and growth, posting the strongest reading since September 2020,” said ADP chief economist Nela Richardson.

"While payrolls are still more than 8 million jobs short of pre-COVID-19 levels, job gains have totaled 1.3 million in the last two months after adding only about 1 million jobs over the course of the previous five months,” Richardson noted.

The recovery has picked up momentum as the COVID-19 vaccination campaign has accelerated and case counts, hospitalizations and deaths have dropped. Some states have moved to reduce or even completely lift COVID-19 restrictions, though some health experts warn they may be moving too quickly.

The stimulus from President BidenJoe BidenMellman: Trump voters cling to 2020 tale FDA authorizes another batch of J&J vaccine Cotton warns of China collecting athletes' DNA at 2022 Olympics MORE's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 plan has also given the economy a shot in the arm, pushing up demand through stimulus payments and expanded unemployment benefits.

The ADP report comes two days ahead of the official Labor Department jobs report on Friday, which economists are predicting could show gains of 1 million or more jobs in April.