Hiring slowed last month, according to payrolls processor ADP, with private-sector employers adding 153,000 jobs. Prior to the release of the monthly ADP National Employment Report, economists polled by Reuters were predicting the addition of 170,000 jobs.
“As we exit 2016, it’s interesting to note that the private sector generated an average of 174,000 jobs per month, down from 209,000 in 2015,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and head of the ADP Research Institute, in a statement. “And while job gains in December were slightly below our monthly average, the U.S. labor market has experienced unprecedented seven years of growth that has brought us to near full employment. As we enter 2017, the tightening labor market will likely slow the growth.”
Where Jobs Are Growing: Service-Providing Employment
Goods-producing industries shed 16,000 jobs total last month. Manufacturing lost the most jobs at 9,000, while mining and construction were down 5,000 and 2,000 jobs respectively.
Service-providing jobs increased by 169,000 in December. The following industries added jobs: trade/transportation/utilities (+82,000 jobs), professional/business services (+24,000 jobs), healthcare/social assistance (+26,000 jobs), leisure/hospitality (+18,000 jobs), and financial activities (+10,000 jobs).
Job Gains Centered in Medium-Sized and Large Businesses
“Job growth remains strong but is slowing,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which produces the report with ADP. “The gap between employment growth in the service economy and losses on the goods side persists. Smaller companies are struggling to maintain payrolls while large companies are expanding at a healthy pace.”
Companies with fewer than 50 employees added 18,000 jobs last month, while medium-sized businesses (50 to 499 employees) added 71,000 jobs. Large businesses with 500 or more employees added 63,000 jobs, with gains centered in companies with 1,000 or more workers.
Looking Ahead to Tomorrow’s Report From the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Economists predict that Friday’s report from the Labor Department will show the addition of 178,000 jobs to public and private, non-farm payrolls. The monthly Employment Situation Summary also provides the latest unemployment rate and data on wage growth.
The PayScale Index, which measures the change in pay for employed U.S. workers, forecasts 1 percent year-over-year wage growth for Q4 2016.
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