Signs of a recovery in the U.S. labor market grew yesterday as reports showed job growth among private companies and plans for layoffs falling to their lowest levels in four years.

The private sector added 32,000 jobs in April, according to the report by payrolls processor ADP Employer Services.

Economists had expected a rise of 30,000 jobs, based on a Reuters poll.


The data comes two days before a closely watched payrolls report, which is expected to show a second straight month of job gains.

“Private sector employment growth is another encouraging sign the labor market is turning the corner and the last pillar of the recovery looks to be now in place,” said Zach Pandl, economist at Nomura Securities International in New York.

Other data yesterday showed the pace of growth in the U.S. services sector was unchanged in April compared with March and expanded below the rate forecast by analysts.

The Institute for Supply Management report’s employment component fell slightly to 49.5 from 49.8 the prior month.

Employers announced 38,326 planned job cuts last month, the lowest number of layoffs since July 2006 and down from 67,611 planned job cuts in March, outplacement consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas said in a report.

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