Private sector adds 201,000 jobs in March: ADP

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Private employers added 201,000 jobs in March, while February’s figure was revised down slightly, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.

The data was largely in line with expectations. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP Employer Services report would show a gain of 203,000 jobs. The report is jointly developed with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC.

February’s figure was revised down to 208,000 from 217,000.

“Basically the number was very much in line with expectations and shows that the labor recovery continues at a reasonable pace,” said David Katz, chief investment officer at Matrix Asset Advisors in New York.

“It looks like the U.S. economic recovery continues, and the improving labor market should be a buffer against weak areas like real estate.”

Treasury prices rose modestly immediately after the data and the dollar trimmed gains against the euro and yen, while stock index futures remained higher.

The ADP figures come ahead of the government’s much more comprehensive labor market report on Friday, which includes both public and private sector employment.

That report is expected to show the economy created about 190,000 jobs in March based on a Reuters poll of analysts, while private payrolls are forecast to rise by 200,000.

Economists often refer to the ADP report to fine-tune their expectations for the payrolls numbers, though it is not always accurate in predicting the outcome. (Reporting by Leah Schnurr, additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica)

Private sector adds 201,000 jobs in March: ADP