Private Sector Employment Grew in February, Mirroring Job Trends on Hound.com

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The private sector added 198,000 jobs in February, according to the ADP report released Wednesday. The job gains were a result of a strengthening service sector and were reflected in hiring data on Hound.com.

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The strong job numbers for last month really took everyone by surprise, considering the increase in payroll taxes that kicked in this year. It’s an encouraging signal that employers not been deterred from actively recruiting and hiring.

Private-sector employment added 198,000 jobs in February, according to the ADP report released Wednesday. Job growth was spurred by solid gains in the service sector last month, reflected in hiring trends on Hound.com.

The ADP report released its National Employment Report on Wednesday, with February showing steady employment growth in the private sector. Private-sector employment was responsible for 198,000 jobs added last month, with the bulk of jobs added coming from the service industry. Small businesses (1-49 employees) added 77,000 jobs, medium businesses (50-499 employees) added 65,000 jobs, and large businesses (500 or more employees) added 57,000 jobs last month. The report signaled a strengthening job market, with private-sector employment being the engine behind that.

The ADP data was reflected in hiring trends on Hound.com, a leading job search website. Hound saw greater demand for financial and accounting services this month as firms prepare for the upcoming tax season. As of the time of this release, the site listed 45,509 jobs in financial services and 27,643 jobs in accounting. Many of the positions were for full-time employment, an indication that employers were hiring for the long-term, and not merely to meet seasonal demand. In other service-based industries, Hound found 33,527 jobs in administration and 35,593 jobs in food services.

Strong employment numbers in February were higher than anticipated, particularly in light of the fact that payroll tax increases went into effect earlier this year. The fact that hiring remained strong, especially at the small business level, indicates that the full consequences may not have been felt yet – or that businesses have recovered enough that those effects are negligible.

“The ADP data indicates that small businesses continue to be one of the most powerful engines of job creation,” said Harrison Barnes, CEO of Hound.com. “The strong job numbers for last month really took everyone by surprise, considering the increase in payroll taxes that kicked in this year. It’s an encouraging signal that employers have not been deterred from actively recruiting and hiring.”

About Hound

Hound.com is a job search site based in Pasadena, CA. It is a part of the Employment Research Institute and owned by A. Harrison Barnes.

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Andrew Ostler
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