Job creation saw another powerful month in February, with companies adding 235,000 positions, ADP and Moody’s Analytics reported Wednesday.
The total again defied Wall Street expectations, as economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting payrolls to grow by 195,000. Growth actually decelerated slightly, as January posted an upwardly revised 244,000 from the initially reported 234,000.
February marked the fourth month in a row that private payrolls hit 200,000 or better.
“The job market is red hot and threatens to overheat,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s, said in a statement. “With government spending increases and tax cuts, growth is set to accelerate.”
February saw broad-based gains that stretched across both the services and goods-producing sectors.
Leisure and hospitality led industry groups with 50,000 jobs, while professional and business services contributed 46,000 and trade, transportation and utilities added 44,000.
However, construction rose 21,000 and manufacturing notched 14,000 new positions. In all, goods-producing industries increased by 37,000 while all services-related businesses added 198,000.
In terms of business size, the gains again were spread: Medium-sized firms (50-499 employees) led with 97,000. Large businesses and small firms contributed 70,000 and 68,000 respectively.