WASHINGTON -- The American job market appears to be holding up fairly well in the face of higher payroll taxes this year and uncertainty over government budget cuts -- so far anyway.
The payroll processing firm ADP said Wednesday its data showed that private employers added a solid 198,000 jobs in February, compared with a little over 200,000 in the prior two months.
ADP's analysis suggests that the government's official jobs report for February, due out on Friday, may be a bit stronger than what many analysts are forecasting. On average, economists are expecting gains of about 160,000, according to Moody's Analytics, which works with ADP in analyzing the numbers.
ADP's monthly tally is based on payroll checks that it processes for about 24 million employees at private firms. Its record in tracking the government's official job numbers is mixed. ADP's data for January had private-sector jobs up by 215,000, considerably more than the 166,000 additions reported by the government. (The official figures for January could be revised higher on Friday.)