Private employers added more positions in February than economists forecast, adding to concern that inflation may accelerate and the Federal Reserve may boost interest rates at a faster-than-expected pace.
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ADP said the private employers added 235,000 jobs last month, compared with the Thomson Reuters projection of 195,000.
Investors are keeping a close eye on U.S. jobs and the Fed's view of the economy. An acceleration in wage growth could encourage central bankers to raise interest rates at a faster pace this year.
The Fed has forecast three rate hikes in 2018, and investors have grown concerned that a fourth increase could emerge given recent inflation gains. On an annualized basis, wages ticked 2.9% higher in January, up from 2.5% for all of 2017.
The Labor Department will publish its report on February nonfarm payrolls on Friday. The U.S. has added an average of 180,000 jobs in the last six months of 2017, and employers reported 200,000 new jobs in January. Economists are forecasting growth of 200,000 jobs in February. The unemployment rate is projected to fall to 4% from 4.1%.