On Wednesday, payroll provider ADP said businesses added 216,000 employees last month, up from January’s total. The ADP report doesn’t include governments, which have been cutting jobs.
And service companies, which employ most Americans, are expanding at a faster pace, according to a private survey released this week. A gauge of employment shows that service firms are still hiring, particularly in the mining, educational services, and transportation and warehousing industries.
The service sector includes everything from restaurants and hotels to health care firms and financial service companies.
Some companies must hire because they can’t squeeze more output from their current staffs. Last year, worker productivity rose at its slowest pace in nearly 25 years. That means companies will likely have to add staff to meet growing demand.
Other figures point to the same conclusion. The average work week was unchanged at 34.5 hours. That’s close to the pre-recession total and suggests that companies will have to hire more workers as business improves, rather than adding more hours.
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