U.S. private payrolls growth eases; productivity falls



U.S. private employers in April hired the fewest number of workers in more than a year, further diminishing hopes of a strong rebound in economic growth after the first-quarter slump.

The tepid private job gains combined with other data on Wednesday showing a second straight quarterly decline in productivity make it less likely the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in June as had been expected at the start of the year.

“The data pile onto recent evidence suggesting increased odds that, by the time the June policy meeting rolls around, the hope of a great spring rebound in real growth will have faded,” said Steve Blitz, chief economist at ITG Investment Research in New York.

Private payrolls increased 169,000 last month, the smallest gain since January 2014, the ADP National Employment Report showed. That was well below economists’ expectations for an increase of 200,000 jobs.

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