Businesses in the U.S. added fewer jobs in February than predicted, according to the Automatic Data Process (ADP) National Employment Report. Companies added 139,000 jobs in February, an increase from January's 127,000 gain. Although February's numbers rose from the previous month, it is the lowest two-month growth since August-September 2012.
Smaller growth than predicted
Projections for February were expected to surpass January's figures, but they came up short. According to a survey conducted by Bloomberg, respondents believed the median level of growth would be 155,000 jobs.
Severe winter weather was a main culprit for lower employment last month. Consumers stayed away from stores, which was cause enough for employers to hold off on adding more employees, according to Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics Inc. Zandi said in an interview with Bloomberg employment should recover over the next few weeks.
"Employment was weak across a number of industries," Zandi said. "Bad winter weather, especially in mid-month, weighed on payrolls. Job growth is expected to improve with warmer temperatures."
Off from Labor Department
ADP and the Labor Department have In December, ADP predicted an employment growth of 238,000 and 175,000 in January. Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist for JPMorgan Chase, told Bloomberg these predictions were way off from the actual numbers.
"The ADP report hasn't done a particularly good job in signaling first prints in the BLS report, over predicting that number by 33,000 in January, and a whopping 151,000 in December," Feroli said. "Not surprisingly, the magnitude of those misses was revised lower after the revisions in today's report, and generally the ADP revisions have an uncanny ability to make first-print misses disappear."
ADP acquires its figures by how many people are on a company's payroll, while the Labor Department looks at employees who receive a paycheck during the agency's survey timeframe, according to Bloomberg.
Growth in several sectors
Despite figures being lower than anticipated, several industries posted job growth in February. Companies in the goods-producing sector, including agriculture and manufacturing businesses, added 19,000 jobs, which includes 1,000 new factory employees.
Manufacturers who are looking to add new workers to their staffs can consult with manufacturing recruiters to aid them in their search.