The National Employment Report — put together by staffing firm ADP and Moody’s Analytics — shows that private companies increased payrolls by 158,000 in March, compared to analyst expectations of 200,000.
While employment growth has been strong over the last few months, the new report may be indicative of a softer market going forward. The 158,000 jobs added is the lowest number since last October. The pullback came largely from the construction industry — which saw zero net new jobs in March — and the services sector.
The federal government will release its own monthly employment report on Friday. That report is expected to show that the economy created 200,000 private sector jobs in March. However, some analysts now believe it could be lower following today’s report.
Stocks are lower today following the news.