U.S. businesses picked up the pace of hiring in April, according to a report Wednesday from payroll processing firm ADP.
ADP estimates that 742,000 workers were added to private-sector payrolls in the month, an increase from the upwardly revised 565,000 estimated for March.
Despite the increase, the numbers fell short of the 800,000 forecast by economists.
The ADP report is often looked to as a forerunner of the Department of Labor’s monthly jobs report, which is due out Friday. But it has had trouble tracking that report through the pandemic period as hiring and layoffs have gyrated wildly. Some analysts say that even if ADP is not an accurate guide to the official number it is a good guide to the direction of hiring.
Economists are expecting the government to report that one million jobs were added in April. The unemployment rate is expected to fall to 5.8 percent from 6.0 percent.
Leisure and hospitality, the sector hardest hit by pandemic-related restrictions on travel and capacity, led growth with 237,000 new positions. The services sector overall added 636,000 jobs.
The goods-producing sector added 106,000 jobs, including 55,000 in manufacturing and 41,000 in construction.