That was our initial reaction to ADP’s March jobs report, which had to send shivers down the spines of all those recovery pushers. But delving a little deeper into the details suggests the data may not be as bad as originally interpreted.
ADP’s private-sector report showed the economy lost 23,000 jobs this month, much worse than the 50,000 gain economists were expecting. February’s decline was also revised downward to 24,000 from 20,000.
That’s a stark contrast to the robust turnaround economists are expecting in Friday’s monthly jobs report. Consensus calling for 200,000 jobs added in March after 36,000 jobs were lost last month. And some folks wouldn’t be surprised if the economy added 300,000 or 400,000 jobs this month.
Keep in mind, though, that Friday’s number will include government workers, while the ADP report doesn’t. And the Labor Department’s data will get an additional boost from the bad weather that plagued February’s report.
Even ADP tries to hedge its own estimate, blatantly saying its numbers don’t include any weather rebound from February or the federal hiring for the Census.
“For both these reasons, it is reasonable to expect that Friday’s employment figure from the BLS will be stronger than today’s estimate,” ADP says.