Private-sector job report shows steadier hiring
BY FRANCINE KNOWLES Business Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org March 30, 2011 12:37PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
Ahead of the Labor Department’s March jobs report due out Friday, a private sector report shows employers added 201,000 jobs in March.
The ADP National Employment Report, which is seen as a precursor to the monthly payroll report Friday, said half of the jobs were added at small businesses.
Analysts had forecast the ADP report, which sent stocks higher Wednesday, would show roughly 210,000 jobs created overall.
Investors were encouraged by a strong gain in small business hiring, said Ryan Detrick, a strategist at Schaeffer’s Investment Research.
While not a huge surprise, the report “helped the realization that things are not as bleak as they seemed a few weeks ago,” Detrick said.
Two other encouraging job-related reports came out Wednesday, with a survey of chief executive officers showing most plan to step up hiring, and another showing fewer companies plan job cuts.
According to ADP, employment rose 102,000 at small businesses, 82,000 at medium-size businesses and 17,000 at large businesses.
The average monthly increase in employment over the past four months has been 211,000, ADP said. In the previous four months, the ADP gain averaged just 74,000. The ADP report does not include the government sector.
Economists estimate the economy has to add about 125,000 jobs a month to keep pace with population growth.
In other jobs news, a survey of chief executive officers by the Business Roundtable finds 52 percent of respondents plan to step up hiring in the next six months. That’s the largest proportion for the group since it began surveying its members nine years ago. The trade group represents CEOs from the nation’s 200 largest companies. Ninety-two percent of respondents expect sales to rise in the next six months.
Also on Wednesday, Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said job cut announcements by employers dropped 39 percent to 41,528 this month from 67,611 a year earlier, said Wednesday. They were down 18 percent from February.
Job cut announcements by Illinois-based employers fell more than 80 percent in March from a year earlier and dipped from February, the report revealed. There were 2,010 cuts announced by employers in the state this month, down from 10,329 in March 2010, when Illinois public schools announced more than 8,100 cuts and other government sector jobs were axed.
The March 2011 figure is slightly below the 2,044 cuts announced in February. Among employers announcing cuts this month were Harris Bank’s Amcore Bank with 491, the University of Illinois with 483 and the Elgin School District with 180.
The biggest cuts nationally this month were in the government/non-profit sector at 19,099 — the highest level in a year. But that was a drop from 41,929 a year earlier.
“Despite the decline from last year, it is difficult to be optimistic about the outlook for government workers,” Rick Cobb, executive vice president at Challenger, said in a statement. “Most cities and states have only just begun to address their massive budget deficits and we have yet to see how budget cutbacks are going to impact workers at the federal level.”
But downsizing activity in other areas of the economy appears to have stabilized, he noted.
The Business Roundtable report said 52 percent of CEOs who responded to its survey plan to boost hiring in the next six months. That’s the largest proportion for the group since it began surveying its members nine years ago. The trade group represents CEOs from the nation’s 200 largest companies. Ninety-two percent of respondents expect sales to rise in the next six months.