The latest U.S. employment data released today showed that private employers added more than 200,000 workers for a second straight month in March as small businesses continued to lead hiring. The ADP National Employment Report showed that private companies hired 201,000 workers in the month of March following a revised increase of 208,000 jobs gained in February. The original February report had shown a rise of 217,000 workers.
The advance in private March jobs pushed the streak of service-sector gains to fifteen consecutive months of increases and the goods-producing sector to the fifth straight month of gains.
The service sector saw an increase by 164,000 workers in March and the goods-producing sector registered a gain of 37,000 workers. Manufacturing jobs rose for a sixth straight month by 37,000 workers while the construction sector declined by 5,000 workers. The financial sector saw a gain of 4,000 for the month.
Small businesses or companies with less than 50 workers led the way in employment creation as small business payrolls rose by 102,000 workers for the month. Large businesses or companies with more than 500 workers added 17,000 workers for March while medium-size businesses increased by 82,000 workers.
The market-moving US nonfarm government payroll report is scheduled to be released on Friday at 12:30 GMT. Early forecasts are looking for the payrolls report to increase by 216,000 workers and the unemployment rate to level at 8.9 percent.
Forex: US dollar on the defensive as Stocks rise
The US dollar has mostly lower against the other major currencies in the forex markets today. The dollar has lost ground on the day versus the euro, Swiss franc, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, New Zealand dollar and the British pound sterling while gaining on the Japanese yen.
The US stock markets, meanwhile, have been on the rise in trading today with the Dow Jones industrial average increasing by over 90 points while the NASDAQ has been higher by over 15 points and the S&P 500 has increased by roughly 10 points at time of writing.
In commodities, oil has hovered around the $104.51 level while gold futures have increased to trading at the $1,423.40 level so far today.