Ahmed Elbatrawy

Private sector adds 209,000 jobs in March

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Private companies continued to add jobs in March, albeit at a slightly slower pace than the previous month.

The private sector added 209,000 jobs last month, according to a report issued Wednesday by payroll-processing company ADP. That was slightly lower than forecasts for 217,000 jobs gained, and a decrease from 230,000 jobs added in February.

Small businesses — those with fewer than 50 employees — continued to make up about half of all private sector job gains, hiring 100,000 people.

Large companies with 500 or more employees hired 22,000 new workers, and medium-sized businesses added 87,000 to their payrolls.

The ADP report typically sets the tone for the government’s highly anticipated monthly jobs report, due Friday. While the reports tend to show the same trends over the long term, their figures can be divergent from month to month.

Economists surveyed by CNNMoney expect the Labor Department’s data to show 200,000 jobs added in March, including 210,000 from the private sector and a loss of 10,000 government jobs. To top of page

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Ahmed Elbatrawy