U.S. companies created more than 200,000 jobs in February, a private survey found, with the Wednesday data coming two days before government's monthly payrolls report.
ADP Payroll Services said businesses added 212,000 jobs last month, down from 250,000 in January, which was revised higher from 213,000.
The payroll processing company's figures come ahead of Friday figures from the U.S. Department of Labor, with economists expecting an increase of between 230,000 to 240,000 jobs.
The ADP figure "suggests that the risk to our forecast that official payrolls rose by 230,000 are tilted towards the downside," Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economists emailed. The ADP survey "isn't reliable enough, however, to lead us to revise our forecast."
"The ADP report is good but not great. Job growth slowed in February, but is still well above the pace needed to keep up with growth in the labor force. This is allowing for the re-employment of workers who lost their jobs during the great recession," emailed analysts at PNC Financial, who noted that the ADP report has the private sector adding more than 200,000 jobs every month since January 2014.
PNC forecasts Friday's government figure will come in at 235,000.