ADP jobs report: 166,000 private-sector jobs added

If the government shutdown lasts the rest of the week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics won’t issue its jobs report for September on time, so ADP’s look at private-sector hiring may be all we get for now.  We will eventually get the BLS report for September, as its surveys have long since been completed, but we may not get one for October if the shutdown lasts through its normal survey period in the middle of the month.  If that’s the case, then ADP’s October jobs report in November will be all we get for this month.


With that in mind, get ready for another month of meh:

Private sector employment increased by 166,000 jobs from August to September, according to the September ADP National Employment Report®. Broadly distributed to the public each month, free of charge, the ADP National Employment Report is produced by ADP®, a leading global provider of Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions, 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. August’s job gain was revised down from 176,000 to 159,000. …

Goods-producing employment rose by 19,000 jobs in September, a slight increase over its August growth rate. Construction payrolls added 16,000 jobs, while manufacturing payrolls increased by 1,000.

Service-providing industries added 147,000 jobs in September, down from 152,000 in August. Among the service industries reported by the ADP National Employment Report, trade/transportation/utilities added the most jobs with 54,000 over the month. Professional/business services employment rose by 27,000, while financial activities shed 4,000 jobs.


Even Mark Zandi is less than impressed:

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “The job market appears to have softened in recent months. Fiscal austerity has begun to take a toll on job creation. The run-up in interest rates may also be doing some damage to jobs in the financial services industry. While job growth has slowed, there remains a general resilience in the market. Job creation continues to be consistent with a slowly declining unemployment rate.”

Well, no, it’s not. Adding 166,000 jobs in a month barely keeps up with population growth, which takes ~150,000 net new jobs a month. In order to create enough jobs to put back to work 80% of the 5 million who have left the workforce at this rate, we’d need 21 years.

Their chart demonstrates the Great Stagnation at stagnation levels:


Even the ADP report, which tends a little toward the optimistic, hasn’t had a 200K month since December of last year.

CNBC calls this a miss, even while putting a happy spin on the numbers:

Private sector job creation came in lighter than expected in September but remained essentially in the same slow-but-steady growth range, according to a report Wednesday.

ADP and Moody’s Analytics pegged the monthly total at 166,000, lower than estimates of 180,000, with service-sector positions again leading the way. …

ADP revised its count for August down from 176,000 to 159,000, meaning September actually represented a modest gain the pace of job creation.


No, it means that both months barely kept pace with population expansion. And that is very similar to the overall trend since the technical recovery began 52 months ago.

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