Report: 216,000 jobs created in the private sector in February


LOS ANGELES — 216,000 jobs were added to the private sector from January to February, the ADP National Employment report has found.

The study, released on Wednesday, comes just ahead of the Labor Department's payroll report, which is due to be released on Friday, Slate reported. The ADP National Employment Report is maintained by Macroeconomic Advisers, and measures employment from analyzing an anonymous subset of roughly 500,000 US business clients, according to ADP.

The new numbers are better than expected: economists had predicted that 208,000 jobs would be added in February, according to Slate. 

The increase in job creation in the US has been holding steady. The private sector gained 173,000 jobs in January and 292,000 in December, according to The Street

"After two years of expansion without much gains in employment, we're finally hitting the point where firms need to begin adding people in order to meet increased orders," Steve Blitz, senior economist at ITG Investment Research in New York, told Reuters. "There are still risks ahead, but if you could just stop the clock right where we are now, you've got a recovery that is gathering some momentum; it appears to be self-reinforcing."

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According to the ADP report, small businesses were the driving force behind job creating in February, responsible for adding 108,000 jobs. Medium-sized companies added 88,000 jobs, and large companies created 20,000. 

"For February, virtually every sector of the economy added jobs, something I hope will continue for the rest of 2012," Carlos Rodriguez, President and CEO of ADP, told RTT News.

According to a Gallup poll, economic optimism has also increased in February for the sixth straight month. The economic confidence index rose five points in February to -22, after falling to -52 in August, the report found.

"The index now roughly matches the highest monthly levels seen in the past four years, although it remains negative," the poll explained. 

"The economy can always dip again, thanks to more misguided austerity and/or global events," wrote Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent. "But if this trend continues, it will be interesting to see how the Republican candidates adapt to it." 

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