February Saw Solid Private Sector Job Growth, ADP Says

What Wednesday’s Economic Reports Tell Us

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Payroll company ADP said the U.S. private sector added 475,000 jobs in February, and January figures were vastly better than it previously reported.

Here’s a quick look at the most significant economic indicators of the day and what they tell us.

ADP Private Sector Employment Report

  • The private sector continued to recover from the pandemic, adding 475,000 jobs in February, more than economists had expected. Encouragingly, every sector tracked in the report added jobs, with leisure and hospitality leading the way with a gain of 170,000, according to payroll company ADP.
  • ADP also totally reversed itself on data from January, revising its original report of a loss of 301,000 jobs to gain of 509,000 jobs. That gave some economists, who already often take the company’s numbers with a grain of salt, even more reason for skepticism. The more widely watched jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which comes out on Friday, is expected to show a similar number of jobs added in February, though that data includes government jobs.

Federal Reserve Beige Book

  • Businesses across the country increased customer prices at a “robust pace,” according to the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book for February, and they plan to raise them even more over the next several months. The reason? Their own costs have been going up, particularly for transportation, but also for workers and materials, they reported. 
  • So far the higher prices have not kept people from buying their products and services, according to the Beige Book. Published eight times a year, the report gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions from key business people, economists, market experts, and other sources across the country. 
  • Companies continue to have trouble finding people to fill open positions, the report said. The COVID-19 wave in January exacerbated the worker shortage as well as employee turnover, but employers and employees recovered more quickly than in prior COVID-19 surges. Survey respondents expect wages to continue to go up, though in some districts, there were signs that the increases in those wages were moderating.

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  1. ADP. “FEBRUARY 2022 ADP® National Employment Report.”

  2. Federal Reserve. “The Beige Book.”

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