Two reports Wednesday showed that U.S. service companies grew more slowly in March and private employers pulled back on hiring.
A report from payroll processor ADP pointed to weaker hiring in March. ADP said private employers added 158,000 jobs in March, below the expected print of 200,000 and down from 237,000 the previous month.
This is the lowest monthly increase since October 2012:
The good news is that small businesses added roughly 74,000 jobs. The bad news is that construction firms didn’t add any, according to the report:
The Institute for Supply Management in another report said that its index of non-manufacturing activity fell to 54.4 last month, down from 56 in February (any reading above 50 signals expansion).
Slower hiring and a steep drop in new orders drove the index down. A gauge of hiring fell 3.9 points to 53.3, the lowest since November.
In short, the pace of hiring has dropped off from the previous four months, when employers added an average of 200,000 net jobs a month.
Luckily, 15 of the 18 industries covered by the ISM survey reported expansion, including construction, transportation and warehousing, retail, finance and insurance, and utilities.
The ISM report covers companies that employ roughly 90 percent of the work force. It also measures growth in industries that range from retail and construction to health care and financial services:
It’s important to note that ADP’s monthly jobs report regularly differs from the fed’s report. But we’ll just have to wait until Friday to see those.
Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Featured image Getty Images.