The private sector added 275,000 jobs last month, far more than expected, data released by payroll company ADP and Moody’s Analytics showed on Wednesday.
Economists polled by Econoday had expected around 180,000 jobs. The ADP private payroll number for March was revised up to 151,000 from 129,000.
The much bigger than expected number is likely to fuel expectations for a surge in non-farm jobs due to be reported Friday. Economists polled prior to the ADP report had expected 173,000. Given the private sector number is higher by more than 100,000, that now looks likely to be an under-estimation.
Goods-producing businesses added 52,000 jobs, including 49,000 construction jobs. Manufacturing added 5,000 jobs. Mining declined by 2,000.
Services jobs soared by 223,000 in April, with several sectors showing strength. Business and professional services added 59,000, education and health care 54,0000, and leisure and hospitality 53,000.
The surge was led by medium and small companies, which added 145,000 and 77,000 jobs respectively. Large companies, those with more than 500 employees, added 53,000.
“The job market is holding firm, as businesses work hard to fill open positions,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “The economic soft patch at the start of the year has not materially impacted hiring. April’s job gains overstate the economy’s strength, but they make the case that expansion continues on.”
“April posted an uptick in growth after the first quarter appeared to signal a moderation following a strong 2018,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute.
The ADP jobs report is the most recent of several positive data points on the economy. Last week, the government said that GDP grew at an annualized rate of 3.2 percent in the first quarter, a percentage point higher than expected by many economists. On Tuesday, the Department of Labor’s employment cost index rose at a healthy rate, showing that wages and salaries grew. Inflation indicators show very little signs of pricing pressure on the economy despite rising wages and low unemployment. Consumer sentiment, which had softened at the start of the year, has bounced back more than economists forecast.