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Survey: US companies add 139,000 jobs in February

WASHINGTON — US companies added slightly more jobs in February than in the previous month, but harsh winter weather still weighed on hiring, according to a report released Wednesday.

Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday businesses added 139,000 jobs, up from only 127,000 in January. But January’s figure was revised sharply lower from an original estimate of 175,000.

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The data suggest that the government’s jobs report for February, to be released Friday, will show only modest gains. Economists forecast it will show that employers added 145,000 jobs last month. That is below the average gains of nearly 205,000 jobs a month in the first 11 months of last year.

The ADP numbers cover only private businesses and often diverge from the government’s more comprehensive report. In January and December its initial figures were much higher than the official count.

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