ADP Research reported at 8:15 EST that private payrolls jumped by 298,000 in February, following a 261,000 gain in January (revised upward from 245,000). That makes February one of the three strongest months on record, and the highest 2-month total since recovery began. The consensus expectation was for a gain of 187,000. This kind of employment jump is uncharacteristic of economies at the late stages of an expansion. The likeliest explanation is that an enormous part of the US economy, namely small and medium-sized business, did not participate in the recovery, and only now is regaining confidence with the new Republican administration.
Private payrolls were up 298,000 last month, and up 261,000 in January, the highest 2-month total since the recovery began.