A relatively weak 119,000 jobs were added to private employers' payrolls last month as federal spending cuts and tax increases began to bite, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.
And there was more potentially troubling news about the health of the economy in Wednesday's data: ADP, which provides payroll and other services to companies around the world, revised down its estimate of U.S. job growth in March. It now says private employers added 131,000 jobs to their payrolls that month, not the initial figure of 158,000.
In the ADP report, Moody's Analytics economist Mark Zandi says:
"Job growth appears to be slowing in response to very significant fiscal headwinds. Tax increases and government spending cuts are beginning to hit the job market. Job growth has slowed across all industries and most significantly among companies that employ between 20 and 499 workers."
The ADP survey is often an early indication of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics will say when it releases its data on unemployment and job growth for the same month. The BLS figures for April are due out Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET. A month ago, the bureau said there were just 88,000 jobs added to public and private payrolls in March. According to Bloomberg News, economists expect to hear Friday that employers added 148,000 jobs in April.