Make us your home page
Instagram

U.S. businesses add jobs at slowest pace in three years, survey shows

Sweet Tomatoes restaurant general manager Valerie Zimmerman, left, interviews Patricia Troutman, of Loganville, Ga., from right, Sabrina Britt, of Clarkston, Ga., and Nino Alexander, of Lithonia, Ga., for positions during a recruiting event at the Georgia Department of Labor office in Atlanta in March. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Sweet Tomatoes restaurant general manager Valerie Zimmerman, left, interviews Patricia Troutman, of Loganville, Ga., from right, Sabrina Britt, of Clarkston, Ga., and Nino Alexander, of Lithonia, Ga., for positions during a recruiting event at the Georgia Department of Labor office in Atlanta in March. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

WASHINGTON — U.S. companies added jobs at the slowest pace in three years in April, a private survey found, a sign that slower growth and volatile financial markets could weigh on hiring.

Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that businesses added 156,000 jobs in April, down from 194,000 in March. Manufacturers shed 11,000 jobs, after losing 3,000 the previous month. Services firms added 166,000, down from 189,000.

The slowdown was also driven by weaker hiring at medium and larger companies. Small businesses added jobs at the same pace as previous months.

The economy barely expanded in the first three months of the year, growing just 0.5 percent at an annual rate, the weakest showing in two years. Stock prices, meanwhile, fell 15 percent at the beginning of the year, which may have caused wealthier consumers to pull back on spending.

Those trends "may have had some impact on senior managers at some companies and their thinking about hiring and investment," Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, said. Moody's compiles the ADP data.

The figures come just two days before the U.S. government's official jobs report. The ADP numbers cover only private businesses and often diverge from the official figures.

Economists forecast that employers added 200,000 jobs in April, while the unemployment rate remained 5 percent.

Some economists cautioned against reading too much into one month's data. Zandi argued that other recent job market figures, such as the number of people seeking unemployment benefits each week, still point to steady hiring.

There are some faint signs that growth could pick up from the weak first quarter. Auto sales picked up in April after falling off a bit the previous month. And sales of existing homes rose in March.

U.S. businesses add jobs at slowest pace in three years, survey shows 05/04/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 4, 2016 9:36am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. New owners take over downtown St. Petersburg's Hofbräuhaus

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown German beer-hall Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg has been bought by a partnership led by former Checkers Drive-In Restaurants president Keith Sirois.

    The Hofbrauhaus, St. Petersburg, located in the former historic Tramor Cafeteria, St. Petersburg, is under new ownership.
[SCOTT KEELER  |  TIMES]

  3. Boho Hunter will target fashions in Hyde Park

    Business

    Boho Hunter, a boutique based in Miami's Wynwood District, will expand into Tampa with its very first franchise.

    Palma Canaria bags will be among the featured items at Boho Hunter when it opens in October. Photo courtesy of Boho Hunter.
  4. Gallery now bringing useful art to Hyde Park customers

    Business

    HYDE PARK — In 1998, Mike and Sue Shapiro opened a gallery in St. Petersburg along Central Ave., with a majority of the space dedicated to Sue's clay studio.

     As Sue Shapiro continued to work on her pottery in St. Petersburg, her retail space grew and her studio shrunk. Now Shapiro's is bringing wares like these to Hyde Park Village. Photo courtesy of Shapiro's.
  5. Appointments at Raymond James Bank and Saint Leo University highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Banking

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Jackson will oversee all of Raymond James Bank's operational business elements, risk management and strategic planning functions. Kackson joins Raymond James Bank after senior …

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. [Company handout]