US private sector adds 247,000 jobs in April

Washington, May 5 (IANS) Private companies in the US added 247,000 jobs in April, indicating a slower growth in a tight labour market, payroll data company Automatic Data Processing (ADP) reported.

Earlier data from the Labor Department showed that US unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 per cent in March as the Omicron-fuelled Covid-19 surge faded, which was slightly above the pre-pandemic level of 3.5 per cent, Xinhua news agency quoted the ADP report as saying on Wednesday.

The service sector saw a job gain of 202,000 in April, while goods-producing sector added 46,000 jobs, according to the report produced by the ADP Research Institute in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics.

Large firms hired 321,000 workers, medium-sized businesses added 46,000, while small companies cut 120,000 employees, the report showed, indicating an unbalanced recovery across different company sizes.

“In April, the labour market recovery showed signs of slowing as the economy approaches full employment,” said Nela Richardson, the chief economist at ADP.

“While hiring demand remains strong, labour supply shortages caused job gains to soften for both goods producers and services providers.”

As the labour market tightens, small companies, with fewer than 50 employees, “struggle with competition for wages amid increased costs”, Richardson added.

The ADP report came two days before the crucial monthly employment report to be released by the Labour Department’s Bureau of Labour Statistics, which will include employment data from both the private sector and the government.