U.S. Firms Post Lackluster Jobs Growth

However downsizing continued at a slower pace.

Companies added jobs at a weaker-than-expected pace in April as the job market struggles to recover from a steep slump.

In a report published on May 4, ADP said private companies added a seasonally adjusted 179,000 jobs, slowing from an upwardly revised 207,000 net new jobs in March.

Most analysts estimated nonfarm payrolls would grow by 200,000 in April.

The latest data "shows that labor market conditions continued to improve in April, but only at a moderate pace," ADP said.

"While employment accelerated sharply around the turn of the year, the monthly gains have been holding fairly steady around 200,000 since then. Employment growth at this pace is consistent with only modest declines in the unemployment rate," it said.

In March, the economy added 216,000 nonfarm jobs, the sixth consecutive month of gains. The private sector gained 230,000 jobs, the 13th straight month of improvement.

Economists expect the Labor Department to report on May 6 that the economy created 185,000 nonfarm jobs in April, with a decline in public-sector jobs offsetting an increase of 200,000 positions in the private sector.

The government is expected to report the unemployment rate held steady in April at 8.8%, unchanged from the prior month.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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