The latest report on the U.S. employment situation shows hiring managers in the private sector were busy bringing on new workers in February, as the economy generated more jobs last month than analysts had predicted.
According to the ADP National Employment Report, 198,000 private sector staffing jobs were added last month, and the payroll services firm also added that it had revised its January numbers upward by 23,000 to 215,000. Small businesses did the bulk of the hiring last month, adding 77,000 jobs to the economy, while medium-sized businesses brought on 65,000 workers and large businesses increased their staffing by 57,000.
"In February 2013, the U.S. private sector added a total of 198,000 new jobs, with most of this job growth occurring in the services sector," said Carlos Rodriguez, president and CEO of ADP. "This growth can be attributed to comparable contributions across all three company size segments."
According to Bloomberg, the reading came in higher than the average estimate of analysts polled by the news source, which showed experts expected the private sector to add 170,000 jobs.
"The job market remains sturdy in the face of significant fiscal headwinds," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics Inc., which helps configure the data. "Businesses are adding to payrolls more strongly at the start of 2013 with gains across all industries and business sizes. Tax increases and government spending cuts don't appear to be affecting the job market."
The services sector added the most jobs with 164,000, while manufacturing staffing rose by 9,000 and construction employers added 21,000 jobs.
According to The Wall Street Journal, TrimTabs Investment Research also released its employment estimates for February, which painted a starkly different picture. The firm, which evaluates employment numbers by assessing daily income tax deposits sent to the U.S Treasury, says the economy only added a meager 100,000 jobs last month.
The official data from the Department of Labor is due out March 8.