Fe­bru­ary ‘in­cred­i­bly strong’ for jobs

Busi­nesses added 298,000 jobs, up from 261,000 in Jan­uary, led by 66,000 in con­struc­tion, sur­vey finds.

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - Jobs

U.S. busi­nesses added the most jobs in three years last month, a pri­vate sur­vey found, a sign that hir­ing may be ac­cel­er­at­ing from last year’s mod­est lev­els.

Pay­roll pro­ces­sor ADP said Wed­nes­day that busi­nesses added 298,000 jobs in Fe­bru­ary, up from 261,000 the pre­vi­ous month.

The gains were led by a huge 66,000 in­crease in con­struc­tion, the most in 11 years, and 32,000 man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs, the most in five years.

The hir­ing boom in con­struc­tion was likely driven by un­sea­son­ably warm weather in much of the coun­try. Con­struc­tion sites typ­i­cally shut down in snow or freez­ing weather.

Still, job gains were broad-based and sug­gest that in­creased busi­ness op­ti­mism may have led to more hir­ing. Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary’s job gains are above last year’s av­er­age of about 185,000 per month.

“Fe­bru­ary proved to be an in­cred­i­bly strong month for em­ploy­ment, with in­creases we have not seen in years,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice pres­i­dent and co-head of the ADP Re­search In­sti­tute.

Mea­sures of busi­ness con­fi­dence have jumped since the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, and the stock mar­ket has reached record highs in an­tic­i­pa­tion of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s promised tax cuts and dereg­u­la­tion.

In­vestors are also op­ti­mistic, with more ev­i­dence emerg­ing of eco­nomic growth over­seas, in­clud­ing Europe.

The ADP cov­ers only pri­vate busi­nesses and of­ten di­verges

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