ADP estimate: 257,000 private-sector jobs added in December

posted at 8:41 pm on January 6, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

If this comes close to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report on Friday, it will signal a decent if unspectacular start to the New Year. ADP estimates that employers added 257,000 private-sector jobs last month, an increase of 40,000 jobs over its estimate for November, and the best result for all of 2015:

Private sector employment increased by 257,000 jobs from November to December according to the December ADP National Employment Report®. Broadly distributed to the public each month, free of charge, the ADP National Employment Report is produced by ADP® in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics. The report, which is derived from ADP’s actual payroll data, measures the change in total nonfarm private employment each month on a seasonally-adjusted basis.

The news isn’t all good. In fact, it shows that 2015 closed out at a lower rate of job creation than 2014, at least on the ADP scale:

“2015 had a strong close with December showing the largest job gains of the year,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, VP and head of the ADP Research Institute. “Overall, the average monthly employment growth was just under 200,000 for the year in contrast to almost 240,000 jobs per month in 2014. Weakness in the energy and manufacturing sectors was mostly responsible for the drop off.”

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “Strong job growth shows no signs of abating. The only industry shedding jobs is energy. If this pace of job growth is sustained, which seems likely, the economy will be back to full employment by mid-year. This is a significant achievement, given that the last time the economy was at full employment was nearly a decade ago.”

Neither of these levels suggest blockbuster growth. The US economy needs to generate around 150,000 jobs a month to keep up with population growth at current workforce-participation rates. Coming in “just under 200,000 a month” isn’t enough growth to make significant dents in the ranks of sidelined workers from the Great Recession, and seeing the growth level subside over the last year doesn’t produce much confidence that December’s outlier result will sustain in 2016.

Investors Business Daily’s editors noted last week that 2015 data showed that the Obama recovery was still the worst in the post-war period (via Newsalert):

Last week, the Joint Economic Committee of Congress issued a new report on the Obama recovery that’s loaded with even more bleak news.

On almost every measure examined, the 2009-15 recovery since the recession ended in June of 2009 has been the meekest in more than 50 years.

Start with the broadest measure: growth in output. The chart with this editorial compares the Obama growth pace with that of the average recovery coming out of the last eight recessions, and with the Reagan recovery, and over the same number of months (77).

Democrats used to disparage the Reagan expansion as nothing special. Yet the growth rate over the first 25 quarters under Reagan was 34%, vs. 14.3% under Obama.

How much does this matter? If we had grown at an average pace, GDP in 2015 would have been about $1.8 trillion higher. Under the Reagan recovery, growth would have been $2.7 trillion higher. …

But even on a per capita basis, real GDP has grown only 9% vs. 18.8% for the average recovery. That is the lowest of any post-1960 recovery. The growth decline in this key gauge of living standards is alarming.

IBD’s editorial board specifically looked at the jobs data, and found it even worse:

Yes, official unemployment of just over 5% today is very low.

But that’s because 94 million people in America over the age of 16 aren’t in the labor force. Labor force participation rates have fallen sharply for working age Americans. If job growth had been the same as in the average recovery, we would have 5.9 million more Americans working.

Amazingly, if we had had a Reagan-paced job recovery, we would today have at least 12 million more Americans working. That’s more people than in the labor force of Michigan and Indiana combined.

Reuters notes that the news from ADP didn’t get markets excited today:

The data had only a modest impact on U.S. financial markets, which had been jolted overnight by news that North Korea had claimed to have tested a miniaturized hydrogen bomb and by worries about the state of the Chinese economy, the world’s second largest. U.S. equity index futures remained under pressure, suggesting stock prices would open lower, and prices for U.S. Treasuries were solidly higher, although slightly off from the day’s highs.

Consider this a meh, for the most part. If the BLS comes in considerably lower, it might heighten scrutiny on the Fed for raising interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade, but even that would probably be mitigated by the long-term criticism of their zero-interest policy that preceded it.


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Comments

Did they stop reporting how many of those jobs are part time or did I simply miss it?

lineholder on January 6, 2016 at 8:48 PM

I feel like dancing!!!!!!!

-Civil Disease…..Tlaloc…..Non participle…

Person masquerading as part of the Bible….yes folks,
that would be Proverbs….

ToddPA on January 6, 2016 at 8:49 PM

Amazingly, if we had had a Reagan-paced job recovery, we would today have at least 12 million more Americans working.

But that was when most Americans wanted to work.

GaltBlvnAtty on January 6, 2016 at 8:51 PM

ToddPA
Ooooh, I’m #1! My work is done here.

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 8:54 PM

How many of the jobs were filled by Americans?

nuclearoptional on January 6, 2016 at 9:02 PM

Yes, official unemployment of just over 5% today is very low.

But that’s because 94 million people in America over the age of 16 aren’t in the labor force. Labor force participation rates have fallen sharply for working age Americans. If job growth had been the same as in the average recovery, we would have 5.9 million more Americans working.

How many people are there in America over the age of 16?

Axe on January 6, 2016 at 9:03 PM

U6 unemployment rate

U6 Unemployment Rate

This interactive chart compares three different measures of unemployment. U3 is the official unemployment rate. U5 includes discouraged workers and all other marginally attached workers. U6 adds on those workers who are part-time purely for economic reasons.

nuclearoptional on January 6, 2016 at 9:06 PM

ToddPA
Ooooh, I’m #1! My work is done here.

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 8:54 PM

BUT, the real question is….are you Dancing?

BTW, the “proper” quote is “My work here is done”

ToddPA on January 6, 2016 at 9:07 PM

Will be interesting to see how many LESS are on various govt assistance programs..

My guess is 5% or less but probably an increase.

celt on January 6, 2016 at 9:07 PM

U6 link fixed

nuclearoptional on January 6, 2016 at 9:08 PM

[From 08/11/2014] U.S. jobs pay an average 23% less today than they did before the 2008 recession

Jobs lost during the recession paid an average $61,637. As of 2014, jobs in the same sectors paid an average of $47,171 annually.

ShainS on January 6, 2016 at 9:08 PM

Amazingly, if we had had a Reagan-paced job recovery, we would today have at least 12 million more Americans working.

Oh, that’s soooo oldthink.

The goal is to make everyone equal [and happy :)] through the enlightened leadership, intelligence and innate awesomeness of the most politically aware apparatchiks.

The loyal party members who troll and spread disinfo will be rewarded most generously when the Great Struggle is finally won.

I’m guessing they’ll get their own refurbished shipping container flats (rather than the normal-and most generous!-two families per container), hot showers twice a month, and beet soup every Saturday. On May Day they will make the pilgrimage to the Obama Presidential Library where one day they will shed tears-as The One did in life ‘-( as they queue past Dear Leader’s well-preserved corporeal remains.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 6, 2016 at 9:12 PM

ToddPA
Lol. +1

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 9:12 PM

BTW, the “proper” quote is “My work here is done”

ToddPA on January 6, 2016 at 9:07 PM

The above quote reportedly uttered by
Killary Rodham Sir Edmund Clinton, following the Benghazi massacre….

ToddPA on January 6, 2016 at 9:15 PM

Nearly every job during the 0bama regime, was filled with an alien, either legal or illegal.

To me, that means job creation has be ZERO for seven years.

Rebar on January 6, 2016 at 9:19 PM

How many people are there in America over the age of 16?

Axe on January 6, 2016 at 9:03 PM

This article notes the participation rate (the percentage of the civilian non-institutional population that participated in the labor force by either having a job or actively seeking one) is approximately 63%.

If 94 million aren’t in the labor force and thus represent 37% of the population, then you get around 254 million total who are 16 and over (254 * 0.37 = 94).

ShainS on January 6, 2016 at 9:21 PM

China’s stock market crashed another 7% already today forcing them to shut it down. Again.

I don’t think “meh” is gonna be enough to hold back a global recession from swallowing us up. QE VII -or whatever we’re up to- won’t either; especially when the previous lender is the one bringing the world down with it.

BKeyser on January 6, 2016 at 9:34 PM

The US economy needs to generate around 150,000 jobs a month to keep up with population growth at current workforce-participation rates.

Sigh… got to love Ed’s moved goal posts. Seems like it was only yesterday that it was 325,000 jobs a month required to keep up with population growth. Of course that was also before America was at the lowest workforce-participation rate since world war 2. It was also before America had a higher unemployment rate than the Great Depression, which was only 21% currently, its 22.9%

oscarwilde on January 6, 2016 at 9:36 PM

China’s stock market crashed another 7% already today forcing them to shut it down. Again.

I don’t think “meh” is gonna be enough to hold back a global recession from swallowing us up. QE VII -or whatever we’re up to- won’t either; especially when the previous lender is the one bringing the world down with it.

BKeyser on January 6, 2016 at 9:34 PM

Must be nice to just shut everything down when things start to suck. Too bad we peons can’t do that.

Apple Scales Back Orders for Its iPhones

Ooooh…you know we’re in trouble now!

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 6, 2016 at 9:59 PM

Ooooh, I’m #1! …
CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 8:54 PM

I don’t know…. Look more like #2 to me.


(Sam Diamond to Lionel Twain)

LegendHasIt on January 6, 2016 at 10:00 PM

If your work is done here, then go take a long walk off a short cliff…..

Indiana Jim on January 6, 2016 at 10:04 PM

Sold some stocks and paid off some debt on 12/29. Looks like i made a wise decision….

Indiana Jim on January 6, 2016 at 10:43 PM

Number one alright….on the twit parade.

Indiana Jim on January 6, 2016 at 10:44 PM

Sigh… got to love Ed’s moved goal posts. Seems like it was only yesterday that it was 325,000 jobs a month required to keep up with population growth. Of course that was also before America was at the lowest workforce-participation rate since world war 2. It was also before America had a higher unemployment rate than the Great Depression, which was only 21% currently, its 22.9%

oscarwilde on January 6, 2016 at 9:36 PM

Ditto!!

The job creation number is about 200K short!! And I’d be willing to bet that the definition of a “job” has also been bastardized in order to hide the utter failure of this administration.

Nobody who lives in the real world actually believes the published unemployment figure.

landlines on January 7, 2016 at 1:05 AM

If job growth had been the same as in the average recovery, we would have 5.9 million more Americans working.

So basically we would need 24 months of 250,000 job growth just to get back where we were before the bottom fell out, not counting current population growth. Add in population growth and that would mean we would need to see monthly new job numbers of ~ +400,000 for two straight years.

Johnnyreb on January 7, 2016 at 7:09 AM

How many are part time, temporary, retail or other non breadwinner type positions and how many ARE bread winner level?

That is the lie.

If only 20,00 are actual job jobs then the report is total rubbish and we start to start nailing them on it.

dogsoldier on January 7, 2016 at 7:18 AM

When the BLS jobs report is released on Friday, it will show that December 2016 was the 82nd consecutive month of SUB-60% Employment

…the worst streak since January 1979.

ITguy on January 7, 2016 at 8:05 AM