Private sector employment increased by 298,000 jobs from January to February, according to the February ADP National Employment Report. This is up from 261,000 jobs added in January and the largest increase since June 2014.
The report also marks the fourth consecutive month of monthly private sector job growth above 200,000.
“February proved to be an incredibly strong month for employment with increases we have not seen in years,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “Gains were driven by a surge in the goods sector, while we also saw the information industry experience a notable increase.”
Medium and small businesses contributed heavily to the increase, adding 122,000 and 104,000 jobs, respectively. Large businesses added 72,000 jobs in February.
Service-producing employment added 193,000 jobs in February. Professional/business services added 66,000 jobs, while trade/transportation/utilities added 9,00. Financial activities added 4,000 jobs.
Goods-producing employment, which has struggled in past months, added 106,000 jobs. The construction sector added 66,000 jobs and manufacturing added 32,000 jobs; both sectors struggled throughout 2016.
“February was a very good month for workers. Powering job growth were the construction, mining and manufacturing industries,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. “Unseasonably mild winter weather undoubtedly played a role. But near record high job openings and record low layoffs underpin the entire job market.”