Private sector added 179,000 jobs in April
The private sector has now added jobs for 15 straight months, according to the ADP National Employment Report. Automatic Data Processing Inc. reported the private sector tacked on 179,000 jobs last month. The payroll giant conducts the monthly survey, which excludes federal jobs, in conjunction with Macroeconomic Advisers. Last month's gain missed most analyst estimates and was down from March's increase of 207,000 and 217,000 new jobs in February. Analysts surveyed by Briefing.com expected job growth of 200,000 for April. A Bloomberg survey projected 198,000 new private-sector jobs with the range of estimates between 164,000 and 240,000. The slowdown in jobs growth in April "fits with other indicators, such as initial jobless claims, which also point to a modest deterioration in labor market conditions last month," according to Capital Economics Chief U.S. Economist Paul Ashworth. "Extending the trend of recent months, most of April's net job gains occurred at small or medium sized firms," Ashworth said. "The sector breakdown shows that the slowdown in net job growth was concentrated in the services sector. Overall, a small dip in employment growth isn't a disaster, but ideally we would have liked to see the growth rate continuing to accelerate. At this rate it would still take another three and a half years to recover all the jobs lost during the recession." Ashworth said the ADP figures don't change his firm's estimate of a "trivially lower 175,000" for federal nonfarm payroll data that's coming Friday from the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. TrimTabs Investment Research said the U.S. economy added 181,000 jobs in April. The firm bases its employment estimates on analysis of daily income tax deposits to the Treasury Department from all salaried employees and "are historically more accurate than initial estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics." "Economic growth has slowed, leading to a decline in job growth," according to Madeline Schnapp, director of macroeconomic research at TrimTabs. "The Fed is swatting at gnats while the elephants are running loose. Employment growth is slowing because of rapidly rising food and energy prices. Meanwhile, policymaker’s focus on core inflation ignores the fact that oil price spikes have been significant contributors to all but one recession since 1973." Write to Jason Philyaw.