Private-sector employers added 139,000 jobs last month, up from a revised 127,000 in January, but down from 205,000 in February 2013, according to ADP. Economists had forecast that private-sector hiring somewhat slowed down last month, with employers adding 160,000 jobs, compared with an originally estimated January increase of 175,000, according to a Dow Jones Newswires survey.
“February was another soft month for the job market. Employment was weak across a number of industries,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which prepares the report with ADP’s data. “Bad winter weather, especially in mid-month, weighed on payrolls. Job growth is expected to improve with warmer temperatures.”
Trends also show weakness: Over the quarter that ended in February, private-sector employers added an average of 153,000 jobs per month, down from 196,000 during the year-earlier period.