23 June 2018

ADP Job Report Shows Big Jump In December

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Private-sector employers added 238,000 jobs - the most jobs in more than a year -  in December, with gains across a variety of business sizes and sectors, according to data released Wednesday by payroll processor ADP.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 200,000 jobs, with estimates ranging from a low of 170,000 to a high of 240,000. Trends also show improvement: Private employers added an average of 224,000 jobs per month in the fourth quarter, slightly up from an average of 211,000 during the year-earlier period.

“It appears that businesses are growing more confident and increasing their hiring,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which prepares the report using ADP’s data.

The improving data on private-sector jobs has been echoed by a variety of other recent labor-market reports. Recent gauges of services and manufacturing firms show hiring is picking up, and businesses are increasing investment in durable goods, reflecting their confidence in the economy. Indeed, even workers are perking up, with a recent report showing that quitting is on the rise.

Still, there’s room for improvement. Despite steadily adding jobs for more than three years, the U.S. economy has almost 1.3 million fewer nonfarm positions, which include private and government spots, than when the recession began at the end of 2007.

The ADP report comes two days ahead of the government's nonfarm payroll report, a measure of the labor market that is more comprehensive and includes both public and private sector employment. Analysts are looking for 196,000 jobs to have been added in December, along with a rise in private payrolls of 195,000. Both numbers would represent slight declines from November.  
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