Wednesday's labor assessment also said that there were 509,000 new private-sector jobs in the month of January -- a major improvement over the loss of 300,000 jobs ADP and Moody's originally reported a month ago. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
March 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. economy added close to a half-million private jobs in the month of February -- soundly beating most analysts' expectations, ADP and Moody's Analytics said in their monthly labor report on Wednesday.
According to the assessment, private companies added 475,000 jobs for the month. Most economists expected the report would show about 400,000 additional jobs.
Analysts said the U.S. workforce remained strong in February as the Omicron coronavirus variant began to wane.
"Last month large companies showed they are well-poised to compete with higher wages and benefit offerings, and posted the strongest reading since the early days of the pandemic recovery," ADP Chief Economist Nela Richardson said in a statement.
"Small companies lost ground as they continue to struggle to keep pace with the wages and benefits needed to attract a limited pool of qualified workers."
Wednesday's report included one major revision -- a lot more jobs in January.
ADP and Moody's initially said there was a decline of about 300,000 private jobs during the month of January. On Wednesday, they said there was actually an addition of 509,000 -- a swing of about 800,000 jobs.
Large businesses, the report said, added 552,000 jobs and medium-sized business gained 18,000 jobs. But small businesses lost almost 100,000. The service sector was responsible for most of the new payrolls, 417,000.
Richardson said that small companies lost ground partly because they have struggled to keep pace with higher wages and benefits.
Wednesday's report came after President Joe Biden promised further economic recovery and more jobs in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
"Our economy created over 6.5 Million new jobs just last year, more jobs created in one year than ever before in the history of America," he said.
"When we use taxpayer dollars to rebuild America -- we are going to Buy American: buy American products to support American jobs."
The Labor Department will release its February jobs report on Friday. Most economists expect that report will show about 440,000 new jobs last month.
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on Made in America commitments in the South Court Auditorium at the White House on Friday. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo