Roseland, NJ, United States (4E) – Hiring at U.S. businesses grew at a modest pace in February as factories added few new employees, according to data by a payroll processor released Wednesday.
Payrolls in the U.S. private sector by 139,000 jobs last month, according to a report by payroll processor Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP) and forecasting firm Moody’s Analytics.
The figure was below the estimate of 160,000 jobs predicted by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal. ADP also downwardly revised January’s increase to 127,000 positions from 175,000.
Wednesday’s report showed factories gained just 1,000 jobs in February, while the service industry added 120,000 positions. The remaining increase came from smaller sectors.
The report said February was another soft month for the job market, and employment was weak across several industries.
Analysts predict the Labor Department’s unemployment rate to drop to 6.5 percent in February from 6.6 percent in the previous month, which marks the lowest jobless rate since late 2008.