The US private sector suffered a decline in employment for the first time since April 2003. 23,000 jobs were lost in the month of February, clearly signaling a deterioration in the labor market. Analysts were looking for job growth of 20,000.
Employment in the service-producing sector increased by a 47,000, while employment in the goods-producing sector declined 70,000. Factory employment fell for the 18th straight month, down 40,000.