Job Growth Slows, but the News Is Still Positive
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American businesses created 213K new jobs last month, the lowest gain in four months but still a barometer of steady labor market growth. The private survey by payroll servicer ADP, which excludes government employment figures, reported that the manufacturing sector added 14K jobs (down from December's 23K), trailing construction (18K compared to 26K the previous month) and services companies, which saw a jump from 40K to 54K.
Economists noted that freefalling oil prices have dented hiring at energy sector firms and have yet to boost job growth at companies like airlines that would benefit from the plunge. The government's more expansive jobs report arrives on Friday and is expected to show a 230K gain.