The private sector added 201,000 jobs from February to March, with more than half the gains coming from the nation’s small businesses, according to seasonally adjusted data from the ADP National Employment Report released today. While most sectors added jobs, employment in the construction industry continues to decline.
Small businesses, those with 50 than fewer workers, added 102,000 of the jobs created in March, the report from ADP Employer Services said. Large businesses, those with 500 or more workers, added 17,000 jobs, while medium-sized businesses, those with 50 to 499 workers, added 82,000 jobs.
The numbers indicate that small businesses, slow to recover from the Recession, are beginning to participate in the economic recovery. Small businesses are traditional drivers of innovation and the nation’s largest source of jobs.
The construction industry, reflecting a weak housing market, shed 5,000 jobs in March, the report said. Since its peak in January 2007 construction has eliminated a total of 2,126,000 jobs.
Employment in the service-producing sector rose by 164,000 in March, making 15 consecutive months of service sector employment gains, the report said. The goods-producing sector has seen give consecutive monthly gains and added 37,000 jobs in March. The manufacturing sector added 37,000 jobs in is sixth consecutive month of gains. Employment in the financial services sector grew by 4,000 jobs in March.
The average monthly increase in private sector jobs has been 211,000 from December through March, and is consistent with the gradual decline in the unemployment rate, the report said. The rate is three times higher than the average monthly gains of 74,000 for August through November.
The private sector added 208,000 jobs from January to February, according to revised numbers also reported today.