National payroll firm ADP reported Wednesday that just 139,000 private sector jobs were added in February. The number was below economists’ forecast of 155,000. ADP also revised downward its estimate of new private sector jobs in January, falling to 127,000 from an initially reported 175,000. The two months showed the least amount of job growth in over a year.
The ADP report is seen as a barometer of the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report, which will be released on Friday. The two reports measure different parts of the labor market, but the overall trends in the two reports is generally consistent. The ADP report shows a renewed weakness in the job market at the beginning of 2014.
The weak ADP numbers for January and February are consistent with the recent downward revision in 4th Quarter GDP growth , which the Commerce Department slashed by 25% last week.