U.S. private employers added 129,000 jobs in March, below economists’ expectations and the lowest since September 2017, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 170,000 jobs, with estimates ranging from 140,000 to 261,000.
Private payroll gains in the month earlier were revised up to 197,000 from an originally reported 183,000 increase. The report is jointly developed with Moody’s Analytics, reports Reuters.
The ADP figures come ahead of the U.S. Labor Department’s more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report on Friday, which includes both public and private-sector employment.
Economists polled by Reuters are looking for U.S. private payroll employment to have grown by 170,000 jobs in March, up from 25,000 the month before. Total non-farm employment is expected to have changed by 180,000.
The unemployment rate is forecast to stay steady at the 3.8 percent recorded a month earlier.