WASHINGTON, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Private companies in the United States added 517,000 jobs in March, indicating continued labor market recovery, payroll data company Automatic Data Processing (ADP) reported Wednesday.
Ryan Sweet, a senior director at Moody's Analytics, wrote in an analysis that the March data is "a marked improvement" from recent months and the strongest gain since September," noting that job gains averaged just under 300,000 in the first quarter of 2021.
"The recovery in the U.S. labor market is picking up, but there remains a sizable hole to fill," Sweet said, adding that the private sector still faces a roughly 9 million job deficit relative to pre-pandemic levels.
The employment growth was mainly in the service-providing sectors, which added 437,000 jobs in the month, according to the report, which was produced by the ADP Research Institute in collaboration with Moody's Analytics.
"Job growth in the service sector significantly outpaced its recent monthly average, led with notable increase by the leisure and hospitality industry," said Nela Richardson, chief economist of ADP.
"We are continuing to keep a close watch on the hardest hit sectors but the groundwork is being laid for a further boost in the monthly pace of hiring in the months ahead," Richardson said.
Large firms and medium-sized businesses hired 155,000 and 188,000 workers respectively, while small companies added 174,000 employees, the ADP report showed, indicating a balanced recovery across different company sizes.
Private companies in the United States slashed roughly 20 million jobs in March and April last year amid COVID-19 shutdowns. Amid reopening efforts, the private sector saw a revised job gain of over 3 million in May, followed by a revised growth of over 4 million in June.
In recent months, however, job growth has been slowing down. In December, the trend was even reversed, with private companies shedding a revised 75,000 jobs amid COVID-19 spikes.
The data for the ADP report is collected for pay periods that can be interpolated to include the week of the 12th of each month, and processed with statistical methodologies similar to those used by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), according to the report.
The ADP report came two days before the crucial monthly employment report released by the BLS, which will include employment data from both the private sector and the government. Enditem