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A survey shows U.S. companies added fewer jobs in March compared with the previous month, as construction firms held off on hiring after three months of solid gains. (AP File Photo)

Survey: Private employers add 158K jobs in March

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- A survey shows U.S. companies added fewer jobs in March compared with the previous month, as construction firms held off on hiring after three months of solid gains.

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By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER

AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A survey shows U.S. companies added fewer jobs in March compared with the previous month, as construction firms held off on hiring after three months of solid gains.

Payroll processor ADP says employers added 158,000 jobs last month, down from February's gain of 237,000 and January's 177,000.

Construction companies didn't add any jobs in March, after average monthly gains of 29,000 in the previous three months. The hiring surge during the previous months likely reflected a jump in rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy.

The ADP report is derived from actual payroll data and tracks total nonfarm private employment each month.

The report suggests that the government's March payroll figures, to be issued Friday, may come in below economists' forecast of 195,000 net jobs.

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