Survey: US businesses hire 235,000 new workers in February

Survey: US businesses hire 235,000 new workers in February
In this Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, photo, Joana Dudley, of Lauderhill, Fla., looks at her list of job prospects at a JobNewsUSA job fair in Miami Lakes, Fla. On Wednesday, March 7, 2018, payroll processor ADP reports how many jobs private employers added in February. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies added a healthy 235,000 jobs last month, led by solid gains in construction, hotels and restaurants, and education and health care, according to a private survey.

Payroll provider ADP said Wednesday that February’s hiring comes after businesses added 244,000 people in January and 249,000 in December. Those gains should be enough to lower the unemployment rate, currently a low 4.1 percent, over time.

A FactSet survey shows that economists believe the U.S. jobs report for February will likely show a gain of 200,000 jobs on Friday.

Still, ADP’s report and government figures frequently diverge. Last month, the government said 200,000 jobs were added, below ADP’s initial estimate of 234,000. That figure has since been revised higher.