Job Market Continues to Expand

Companies added 198,000 people to their payrolls, according to Roseland, New Jersey-based ADP Research Institute.

The increase in employment followed a revised 215,000 gain the prior month that was more than initially estimated.

Goods-producing employment rose by 34,000 jobs in February, driven largely by a gain in construction jobs of 21,000.

Service-providing jobs increased by 164,000. Among the service industries reported by the ADP National Employment Report, trade/transportation/utilities services showed the largest gain with 45,000 jobs added over the month. Business/professional services added 35,000 jobs and financial activities added 7,000 jobs.

Manufacturers added 9,000 jobs.

Businesses with 49 or fewer employees added 77,000 jobs in February. Employment levels among medium-sized companies with 50-499 employees rose by 65,000, while employment at large companies – those with 500 or more employees – increased by 57,000.

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “The job market remains sturdy in the  face of significant fiscal headwinds. 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 Labor Department may report on March 8 that overall hiring, which includes government jobs, climbed 160,000 last month after rising 157,000 in January, according to the Bloomberg survey median.

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