ADP’s report on private payrolls offers positive evidence that the job market is recovering from the winter storms as companies grew their payrolls in March by the highest amount in three months. An upwardly revised February gain of 178,000 jobs was followed by 191,000 in March after a median forecast of 195,000 new jobs. Companies continue to report improved confidence in demand as gains in employment and wage growth lead to increased household spending, specifically compared to the slow start to 2014 thanks to abnormally cold weather.
Consumer spending is showing signs of a rebound as auto sales climbed to 16.33 million in March, the strongest in nearly seven years. Janet Yellen, the Federal Research Chair, stated that job growth has been “gradual but remarkably steady,” and has not yet returned to full health. She also said that, ““In some ways, the job market is tougher now than in any recession. The numbers of people who have been trying to find work for more than six months or more than a year are much higher today than they ever were since records began decades ago.”
A considerable “labor slack” remains in place with the continued presence of large numbers of partly unemployed workers, stagnant wages, lower participation in the labor force, and longer periods of joblessness.