The number of workers added to U.S. payrolls in April fell to the lowest level in seven months, according to a report whose release caused stocks to slide Wednesday morning and sparked trepidation for the official government employment numbers coming Friday.
Companies increased their workforce by 119,000 employees last month, after adding a downwardly-revised 201,000 workers in March, according to Automatic Data Processing Inc., or ADP.
That’s the smallest boost since September. Analysts had expected a 170,000-employee boost.
And all of the new hires came from service providers, who took on 123,000 new workers. Goods-producing companies trimmed their headcount by 4,000 employees.
Both manufacturing and construction employment also fell, reversing gains from the unseasonably warm winter.
Small businesses led the hiring charge with 58,000 additional workers, followed closely by medium-sized businesses. Large firms took on 4,000 new employees. But all three segments hired fewer people than they did in March.