May 4 (UPI) — The U.S. economy added almost 250,000 private-sector jobs during the month of April, ADP and Moody’s Analytics said in their monthly assessment on Wednesday — missing expectations by about 130,000 hirings.
The report said that there was growth of about 247,000 private jobs nationwide last month. Most economists expected the report to show about 380,000 new jobs.
Most of the job growth was seen in large businesses with more than 500 workers. Medium-sized businesses saw 46,000 new jobs and small businesses lost 120,000, the ADP-Moody’s report said.
Very small companies — those with fewer than 20 employees — lost close to 100,000 jobs last month.
Analysts said that small businesses were negatively impacted in April because the labor climate favored larger companies.
“In April, the labor market recovery showed signs of slowing as the economy approaches full employment,” ADP Chief Economist Nela Richardson said in a statement.
“While hiring demand remains strong, labor supply shortages caused job gains to soften for both goods producers and services providers. As the labor market tightens, small companies … struggle with competition for wages amid increased costs.”
As usual, the services sector saw the most job growth last month — particularly in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services and education and health. The only corner of the sector to see a loss of jobs was for information services, which lost about 2,000, the report said.
ADP and Moody’s said a month ago that private job creation in March totaled 455,000 and growth in February was almost 700,000.
The assessment indicates a stable, but unusual, job market in the United States. The Labor Department said on Tuesday that there were a record 11.5 million openings at the beginning of April after 6.3 million separations in March. That means there were roughly two open jobs for every unemployed adult in America at the start of last month.
Higher inflation in the United States recently has had some influence on the job market. The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates later Wednesday in a move to control rising prices. Most experts anticipate that the Fed will raise rates by a half-point, and some feel that a three-quarter-point increase is possible.
If the Fed raises rates at the end of its policy meeting Wednesday, it would be the second straight month that the Federal Open Markets Committee has done so. Between 2018 and last month, the Fed ordered no rate hikes — only rate decreases and emergency measures as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Labor Department will issue its April jobs report on Friday. Most economists expect that survey to show about 385,000 new hirings for the month of April. Last month, the department said the economy grew by 431,000 jobs, only slightly missing most analysts’ expectations.