ADP: Labor market remains firm as private sector payroll expands in Feb.

Private sector employment increased by more than 180,000 jobs between January and February, according to the February ADP National Employment Report by Roseland-based ADP.

The payroll and human resources company said in a news release that the month saw a 183,000-job uptick in nonfarm private employment.

“The labor market remains firm, as private-sector payrolls continued to expand in February,” Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, said.

By company size, large businesses with 500 or more employees added 133,000 new positions while medium businesses with 50 to 499 employees added 26,000 and small businesses with less than 50 employees added 24,000.

“Job creation remained heavily concentrated in large companies, which continue to be the strongest performer,” Yildirmaz said.

It was a positive month in both the goods-producing and the service-providing sectors, with grew by 11,000 and 172,000 jobs, respectively.

“COVID-19 will need to break through the job market firewall if it is to do significant damage to the economy. The firewall has some cracks, but judging by the February employment gain it should be strong enough to weather most scenarios,” Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said.

Among industries, education and health services added 46,000 new roles followed by leisure and hospitality, which added 44,000, followed by professional and business services, 38,000; trade/transportation/utilities, 31,000; construction, 18,000; financial services, 9,000; other services, 7,000; manufacturing, -4,000; natural resources and mining, -3,000; and information, -2,000.