Florida's economy added 9,570 private sector jobs in April, the second-biggest jump behind Texas, according to estimates released Friday by payroll and employee benefits company ADP.
The report — the first time ADP has released a regional breakdown for its oft-cited monthly report — may be a sneak preview for Florida's unemployment and jobs report coming from government estimates May 17.
If so, it points to continued strong momentum for recovery in a state hammered hard by the Great Recession. For its March report, the Labor Department said Florida had added 32,700 more jobs — up 141,300 jobs over the year — with its unemployment rate tumbling to a 41/2-year low of 7.5 percent.
Unlike the official Labor Department estimates, ADP only examines the private sector, not government jobs. Over the past two years, state and federal government have slashed jobs even as many private employers gradually boosted employment.
The two biggest regions creating the most jobs were the South Atlantic region, driven by Florida, Georgia and Virginia, and the West South Central region, driven by Texas.
"Together, these two regions generated a combined total of 60,000 private sector jobs — approximately half of all private sector jobs created during the month," said Ahu Yildirmaz, senior director of the ADP Research Institute.
Overall, the country added 119,000 private sector jobs in April.
Friday's report, produced by ADP in collaboration with Moody's Analytics, hints at another continuing phenomenon: the jobs recovery is clustered largely in the lower-paying, service sector. Statewide, there were 10,070 service-producing jobs added between March and April while the number of goods-producing jobs shrank by 500, ADP said.
Among Florida highlights by industry:
• Trade, transportation and utilities grew by 2,460 jobs.
• Professional and business services grew by 2,250 jobs.
• Natural resources/mining and construction grew by 350 jobs.
• Manufacturing lost 850 jobs.