Strong Job Growth Driven by Construction and Manufacturing, Report says

March 9, 2017 Updated: October 5, 2018

Businesses added 298,000 jobs in February, continuing a second month of solid job growth, according to the ADP National Employment Report. The growth was driven by intensive hiring in construction and manufacturing.

“Unseasonably mild winter weather undoubtedly played a role. But near record high job openings and record low layoffs underpin the entire job market,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. “February was a very good month for workers.”

The Mining industry posted modest job gains for the second month in a row, a sign of guarded optimism in a sector that has lost over 230,000, or 25 percent of its employees, since the peak in 2014.

Healthcare (+38,000), leisure and hospitality (+40,000), and professional and technical service industries (+42,000) maintained a strong hiring trend. Information services followed with a 25,000 job gain.

ADP, a human resources management company, collects data for the job growth estimates from its customers, who represent about 20 percent of the nation’s private sector payroll workers. Moody’s Analytics then adjusts the numbers to better represent the overall industry landscape.

On March 10, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released monthly job growth estimates based on employer surveys. It showed private sector growth of 227,000 jobs.

ADP uses similar methodology to BLS and both sources usually produce similar numbers.

Job growth estimates have a large margin of error and should be interpreted with caution. The private sector job growth in January, for example, was 237,000 +/-111,000 at 90 percent confidence level. That means the actual job growth was likely somewhere between 126,000 and 348,000, according to BLS. ADP doesn’t publish a margin of error for its estimates.

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