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Economic Report: ADP sees ‘signs of slowing’ in labor market as U.S. adds 247,000 private-sector jobs in April

The numbers:  Private payrolls rose by 270,000 in April, according to the ADP National Employment Report released Wednesday. 

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a gain of 390,000 private sector jobs.

The ADP report is produced with Moody’s Analytics. In March, private payrolls were up 479,000.

Key details: By company size, large businesses added 321,000 private-sector jobs in April while small businesses lost 120,000. Medium-sized businesses, defined as firms with 50 to 499 employees, added 46,000 jobs.

Service sector providers added 202,000 jobs in April. Leisure and hospitality added 77,000 workers. Meanwhile, goods producers added 46,000 jobs. Manufacturing added 25,000 jobs.

Big picture: The ADP data doesn’t always align with the Labor Department’s report to be released on Friday, but the data is still viewed with interest given the fact that the monthly government job figures are one of the best gauges for the health of the U.S. economy.

Economists expect the economy added a net 400,000 jobs in April, including both private and government jobs, according to a Wall Street Journal poll. Economists expect the unemployment rate to tick down to 3.5% from 3.6%.

What ADP is saying: “In April, the labor market recovery showed signs of slowing as the economy approaches full employment,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist, ADP. Labor supply shortages are causing fewer jobs to be filled she said.

Market reaction: Stocks


were set to open higher ahead of the Federal Reserve’s release of its policy statement and Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s press conference.

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