ADP: February private sector job creation totals 198,000

As yet another sign the national economy is on the rebound, job creation during February registered strong levels across businesses of all sizes and industries. Firms buoyed by improving business conditions are increasing operations and putting more people back to work. Job growth is crucial to economic performance, as is the talent of new workers. Companies with growing workforce numbers can work with recruiting agencies to attract and hire the most qualified employees.

January total revised
According to the ADP National Employment Report for February, private sector employment increased by 198,000 jobs from the month before. The report, produced in collaboration with Moody's Analytics, also included a revision to January's previously announced total of 192,000 added jobs, which was bumped up to 215,000 new positions.

The increase in jobs was more or less equally spread across tiers of business size. Small businesses led the way with 77,000 new jobs in February, medium-sized businesses, or those with 50 to 499 employees, added 65,000 jobs and large employers increased workforce levels by 57,000 with 34,000 new positions occurring at firms with more than 1,000 employees.

Large business hiring was especially notable, given the January report found these employers shed 2,000 jobs during the month, mainly due to a decrease of 9,000 jobs at companies with 1,000 or more employees.

"The job market remains sturdy in the face of significant fiscal headwinds," said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics. "Businesses are adding to payrolls more strongly at the start of 2013 with gains across all industries and business sizes. Tax increases and government spending cuts don't appear to be affecting the job market."

Service providing keys growth, manufacturing employment ticks up
The large majority of new private sector jobs added in February were service-related; such jobs accounted for 164,000 new positions. Goods producing employment rose by 34,000. Trade/transportation/utilities was the largest jobs creator during the month, adding 45,000 positions. With 35,000 new jobs in February, professional and business services was another strong employer.

While the goods producing rise in employment was driven largely by 21,000 new jobs in construction, manufacturing reversed its January course that saw 3,000 lost jobs by adding 9,000 positions during February, making manufacturing recruiters a valuable partner in talent searches for growing firms.