Private payroll numbers from ADP came in below the 220,000 forecast. Report's economist says pace of hiring is still strong but slowing. Jeanne Yurman reports.
Private sector hiring was not as strong as forecast in the latest report from ADP. The payroll processing firm said 212,000 jobs were added in February from the prior month - missing the consensus target of 220,000. January was upwardly revised to 250,000. In a press release, Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, which analyzes the ADP data said: "Job growth is strong, but slowing from the torrid pace of recent months. Job gains remain broad-based, although the collapse in oil prices has begun to weigh on energy-related employment. At the current pace of growth, the economy will return to full employment by mid-2016." Small businesses, those with 49 or fewer employees, accounted for nearly half the job gains. Industries doing the most hiring included construction, trade, transportation and energy and professional and business services. The ADP payroll data comes out two days before the government's monthly jobs report. Forecasters predict the U.S. economy added 240,000 jobs in February and the jobless rate ticked down to 5.6 percent.