By Christopher Rugaber
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies in April added the most jobs in 9 months, a sign that hiring remains strong amid solid economic growth.
Payroll processor ADP reported Wednesday that businesses hired 275,000 people nationwide across the entire job market last month, up from just 151,000 in March.
The economy is expanding at a solid pace this year, despite fears last winter that the U.S.-China trade war, slower global growth and higher interest rates would tip the economy into recession.
Hiring was driven partly by a big gain in construction, ADP reported, where 49,000 jobs were added. Professional and business services, which mostly includes architects and engineers, added 59,000.
“The economic soft patch at the start of the year has not materially impacted hiring,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said. Moody’s compiles the ADP figures.
Spending on construction projects, meanwhile, dropped in March for the first time in four months, and spending on U.S. home construction fell to the lowest level in more than two years.
A Commerce Department report says construction spending — including housing, nonresidential and government building projects — fell 0.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.28 trillion after rising 0.7% in both January and February.
Residential construction spending skidded 1.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $500.9 billion, the lowest since December 2016.
Public construction dropped 1.3% to $320.7 billion in March.
Home building has wobbled but is expected to rebound as the Federal Reserve backs off on plans to hike interest rates this year.