U.S. companies add 162,000 jobs in September
By Leah Schnurr
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. companies added 162,000 jobs in September, more than economists expected but still pointing to slow improvement in the labor market, data from a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 143,000 jobs.
The ADP figures come ahead of the government's much more comprehensive labor market report for September due on Friday, which includes both public and private sector employment.
That report is expected to show job growth improved slightly, with employers adding 113,000 jobs. Private-sector payrolls are seen rising by 130,000.
"This is consistent with a moderate pace of job growth and we still haven't made much headway with the losses during the downturn," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.
"We would like to see growth on the order of 200,000 to 250,000."
U.S. stock index futures added to gains immediately after the data, while the dollar edged higher against the yen.
Last month the Federal Reserve launched an aggressive new plan to bolster the economy, saying it will buy $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities per month until the outlook for the job market substantially improves and as long as inflation remains contained. Continued...