Anyone hoping the U S. economy in 2013 would gain strength from job growth needs to check out Wednesday's ADP National Employment Report.
According to ADP, the U.S. economy added 158,000 private-sector jobs in March, well below projections of 200,000 - 215,000. That's the smallest gain since October when companies hired just 148,000.
March's lackluster showing was mainly due to lower job creation in construction. The industry enjoyed robust hiring in the months following late October's Hurricane Sandy. In its wake, the superstorm left behind upwards of $50 billion in damages.
A tepid recovery in the housing market in Q1 also helped the sector in January, with recent monthly gains in construction averaging 35,000.
In March, however, no new construction jobs were added.
"If that's the case, underlying job growth is not changed appreciably," Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi told Reuters. He estimates overall employment growth is running near 175,000 a month.
March's jobs report included a revised 237,000 gain for February from the previously reported 198,000. But January's numbers were revised down to 177,000 from 215,000.
So what does this mean for Friday's U.S. jobs report?