Companies added 475,000 jobs in February, better than expected, ADP says

Key Points
  • Companies added 475,000 positions in February, better than the Dow Jones estimate for 400,000, ADP reported Wednesday.
  • The payrolls processing firm dramatically revised its January count, from a loss of 301,000 to a gain of 509,000.
  • Large companies and leisure and hospitality businesses contributed the biggest increases.
February private payrolls up 475,000, better than expected: ADP

Private job creation rose at a faster-than-expected clip in February, according to a count released Wednesday from payrolls processing firm ADP.

Companies added 475,000 positions for the month, better than the Dow Jones estimate for 400,000.

ADP also dramatically revised its January count, from an initially reported loss of 301,000 to a gain of 509,000. That upward revision of 810,000 brought the tally more closely in line with the Labor Department count for the month of a 467,000 surge.

The report Wednesday noted that ADP conducted annual revisions of its count in February to put it in line with Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Other months over the past year saw adjustments, but none as massive as January 2022.

"Hiring remains robust but capped by reduced labor supply post-pandemic," said ADP's chief economist, Nela Richardson. "Last month large companies showed they are well-poised to compete with higher wages and benefit offerings, and posted the strongest reading since the early days of the pandemic recovery."

Companies with 500 or more workers were responsible for almost all the hiring in the month, adding 552,000 positions. Firms with fewer than 50 employees recorded a loss of 96,000, while midsize businesses added just 18,000.

By sector, leisure and hospitality posted the biggest gains, with an increase of 170,000. Trade, transportation and utilities contributed 98,000, while professional and business services rose by 72,000.

On the goods-producing side, manufacturing was up 30,000 and construction added 26,000.

Though the two can differ widely, the ADP count serves as a precursor to the more broadly watched BLS nonfarm payrolls report, which is scheduled to come out Friday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect the economy added 440,000 jobs in February.