A Deeper Look at How Private Payrolls Keep Climbing

If Wall Street was Vegas, the under-over line to watch would be the unemployment numbers. In case you’ve been living in a cave, every economics “expert” and talking head has preached the mantra “The US economy will not truly improve until job growth returns.”

Well, this morning the ADP National Employment Report showed a continuation of increased private payrolls: private-sector employment increased by 201,000 from February to March on a seasonally adjusted basis. Unfortunately, February’s numbers were revised down to 208,000 from the previously reported of 217,000. (See Charts Below)

This month’s ADP National Employment Report removes any remaining doubt that private nonfarm payroll employment accelerated heading into 2011. The increase of 201,000 is in line with the consensus expectation both for today’s report and for Friday’s jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The average monthly increase in employment over the last four months – December through March – has been 211,000, consistent with a gradual if uneven decline in the unemployment rate. This is almost three times the average monthly gain of 74,000 over the preceding four months of August through November.

According to the ADP Report, employment in the service-providing sector rose by 164,000 in March, marking fifteen consecutive months of employment gains. Employment in the goodsproducing sector rose 37,000, the fifth consecutive monthly gain. Manufacturing employment rose 37,000, the sixth consecutive monthly gain.

Employment among large businesses, defined as those with 500 or more workers, increased by 17,000 while employment among medium-size businesses, defined as those with between 50 and 499 workers, increased by 82,000. Employment among small- size businesses, defined as those with fewer than 50 workers, increased by 102,000.

In March, construction (NYSE:XHB) employment dropped 5,000. The total decline in construction employment since its peak in January 2007 is 2,126,000. Employment in the financial services sector increased 4,000.

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Stay tuned for Wall St. Cheat Sheet’s coverage of the BLS Unemployment data this Friday.