Private payrolls increased by 242,000 in February, according to the ADP National Employment Report. Economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal had been looking for the economy to add 205,000 jobs in the month. The February increase was well above the revised January total of 119,000 new jobs.
While the jobs report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t always track closely to the ADP report, the stronger-than-expected new job total in today’s data certainly suggests that Friday’s official government report could also come in hotter than expected. Right now economists are looking for the economy to add 225,00 jobs in February according to the official data.
The jobs report is one of the major factors that the Federal Reserve is watching to decide whether to raise interest rates by 25 or 50 basis points at its March 2 meeting.
The ADP report pushed a few more traders toward betting on a 50 basis point increase, according to the CME FedWatch Tool. Today the odds of a 50 basis point increase in interest rates climbed to 76.4% from 69.8% yesterday and the odds of a 25 basis point increase fell to 23.6% from 30.2% yesterday.
All of the job additions came from companies employing 50 or more workers. Small businesses saw a net loss of 61,000.