U.S. Hiring Slowed Sharply In April, Survey Shows

By Christopher S. Rugaber

WASHINGTON -- A private survey shows U.S. businesses sharply reduced hiring in April, a troubling sign two days before the government reports on monthly job growth.

Many economists said the ADP figures would not lead them to change their forecasts. Analysts expect the government will report Friday that employers added 163,000 jobs in April, according to a survey by FactSet.

Payroll provider ADP says that businesses added 119,000 jobs last month, far lower than a revised total of 201,000 jobs in March.

The report covers hiring only in the private sector. And it has been known to deviate sharply from the government's figures, which will be released on Friday. For example, the government said employers added just 120,000 jobs in March -- much lower than ADP's estimate.

The unemployment is expected to stay at 8.2 percent. The job market has slowed from the start of the year. The economy created an average of 246,000 jobs a month from December through February. And the number of people seeking unemployment benefits has increased in the past month, suggesting that companies have laid off more workers.

Still, other recent data has been positive. The manufacturing sector expanded at the fastest pace in 10 months in April, a private trade group said Tuesday. That report found that manufacturers had added workers at the fastest pace in a year.

The economy grew at a 2.2 percent annual pace in the first three months of the year, slower than the 3 percent pace in the fourth quarter. Economists worry that isn't fast enough growth to support more hiring.

The disparity between ADP's and the government's figures reflects the way each gathers employment figures.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics draws its data from a survey of employers in government and the private sector. ADP derives its figures from the payroll data it processes for about 344,000 U.S. companies that employ 21 million people. Macroeconomic Advisers then adjusts that count to try to reflect the entire U.S. private-sector workforce.

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The decrease must really be bad if Obama's administration couldn't hide the numbers. I hate to think what the real numbers are!

May 02 2012 at 12:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

you never get the real numbers until months later. they are always adjusted downward later

May 02 2012 at 11:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So are we still "headed in the right direction" as Obama is so fond of saying?

May 02 2012 at 11:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

During the hearing on the hwy bills, it was said that many states had stopped road building and bridge repairs because they couldn't front the money needed to continue. That is many manufacturing jobs that were lost. The Senate bill was a bi-partisan bill by the most conservative and most liberal members. The House is playing gaves with their bill to try and get the radical right-wing agenda in. Ray LaHood a former Republican member of the House said the current House is the worst he has seen in 40 years.

May 02 2012 at 10:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And Occupy cost cities millions of dollars in damage yesterday. Oh, and OWS Cleveland had, was it 7? people arrested for an attempt to blow up a bridge. Where's that story? Or, is it just a good thing to this news outlet and will be job creation (finally)?

May 02 2012 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bill Isaacs

Can the US file bankruptcy and or all all the states secede. We will never pay the debt. There must be another way out.

May 02 2012 at 10:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bill Isaacs's comment

I don't think the Chinese, Banks, retirees would like that solution. They own majority of the bonds the government sold.

May 02 2012 at 11:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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