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Economic Report: U.S. private sector adds 455,000 new jobs in March, ADP says

The numbers: Private payrolls rose by 455,000 in March, according to the ADP National Employment Report released Wednesday. 

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a gain of 450,000 private sector jobs in March.

The ADP report is produced with Moody’s Analytics.

Private-sector job growth was revised to 486,000 in February, up slightly from the initial estimate of 475,000.

Key details: By company size, large businesses added 177,000 private-sector jobs in March while small businesses added 90,000. Medium-sized businesses, defined as firms with 50 to 499 employees, added 188,000 jobs.

Service sector providers added 377,000 jobs in March. Leisure and hospitality added 161,000 workers. Meanwhile, goods producers added 79,000 jobs. Manufacturing added 54,000 jobs.

Big picture: Economists use the ADP report to get an early read on the Labor Department’s report on private payrolls. But often the ADP has not been an accurate predictor and has been criticized for its large revisions.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal forecast a total payroll gain of 490,000 jobs in March and that the unemployment rate will drop to 3.7% from 3.8%. Job growth totaled 678,000 in February. The government’s data will be released Friday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.

The labor market has been strong. The private sector has added nearly 1.5 million jobs in the first quarter, according to ADP data.

Market reaction: Stocks
DJIA,
+0.97%

SPX,
+1.23%

were set to open lower on Wednesday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note
TMUBMUSD10Y,
2.412%

rose to 2.406%, as the yield curve steepened after a brief inversion.

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