Private employers added 145,000 jobs and annual pay jumped 6.9 percent in March, according to a monthly report from payroll processing firm ADP. That is down from 261,000 in February and below estimates of 210,000.
“Our March payroll data is one of several signals that the economy is slowing,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist, ADP. “Employers are pulling back from a year of strong hiring and pay growth, after a three-month plateau, is inching down.”
The report comes one day after a federal report showed job openings falling below 10 million for the first time in two years, when a historically tight labor market left employers struggling to fill positions.
Some of the biggest job gains were in resources and mining, which added 47,000 jobs, and trade, transportation, and utilities, which added 56,000 jobs. Professional and business services, meanwhile, shed 46,000 jobs, and financial services lost 51,000.
Annual pay growth for job stayers also fell from 7.2 percent to 6.9 percent, which remains historically high, while pay growth for job changers fell from 14.4 percent to 14.2 percent.