HEALTHY HIRING: A private survey shows U. S. businesses added 198,000 jobs in February, according to data released Wednesday by payroll processor ADP. And January's hiring figures were revised to show 215,000 net new jobs, 23,000 higher than the initial estimate.
NO FEAR (YET): The gains indicate that higher taxes and looming government spending cuts have yet to slow hiring. The ADP report also showed that small businesses have stepped up hiring in recent months, after lagging larger companies for several years.
FRIDAY REPORT: The figures suggest that the government's February jobs report, to be issued Friday, may come in above economists' forecasts. Analysts expect employers added 152,000 jobs and the unemployment rate dipped to 7.8 percent from 7.9 percent.