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ADP: Private Payrolls Added 291,000 Jobs in January, the Most in 4 Years

Topics: Current Events
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Private-sector employers added 291,000 jobs last month, according to the monthly report from payrolls processor ADP. The tally nearly doubled estimates from economists and represented the highest gains since May 2015.

“Mild winter weather provided a significant boost to the January employment gain,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which produces the report with ADP. “The leisure and hospitality and construction industries in particular experienced an outsized increase in jobs. Abstracting from the vagaries of the data underlying job growth is close to 125,000 per month, which is consistent with low and stable unemployment.”

Most Industries Posted Gains in January

“Goods producers added jobs, particularly in construction and manufacturing, while service providers experienced a large gain, led by leisure and hospitality,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and cohead of the ADP Research Institute. “Job creation was strong among midsized companies, though small companies enjoyed the strongest performance in the last 18 months.”

Companies with fewer than 50 employees added 94,000 jobs last month, while those with between 50 and 499 employees added 128,000 jobs. Large companies with 500 or more employees added 69,000 jobs.

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Only mining shed jobs last month, losing 2,000 positions. Other industries posted gains:

  • Leisure/hospitality (+96,000 jobs)
  • Education/health services (+70,000 jobs)
  • Professional/business services (+49,000 jobs)
  • Construction (+47,000 jobs)
  • Trade/transportation/utilities (+8,000 jobs)
  • Manufacturing (+10,000 jobs)
  • Financial activities (+2,000 jobs)
  • Information (+2,000 jobs)

Looking Ahead to the Report From the Labor Department

Friday’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics will show updated employment figures for non-farm payrolls, including public-sector jobs, plus the updated unemployment rate and wage growth data. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch predict the addition of 165,000 jobs and an unemployment rate holding steady at 3.5%.

The PayScale Index, which measures the change in wages for employed U.S. workers, showed 2.5% year-over-year wage growth for Q4 2019. However, real wages have declined 9% since 2006.

How does your pay stack up? Take the PayScale Salary Survey and get your free salary report in minutes.

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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