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Economy in Brief

U.S. ADP Report Shows Moderating Job Growth
by Tom Moeller  June 2, 2016

The ADP/Moody's National Employment Report indicated that nonfarm private sector payrolls rose 173,000 during May following a 166,000 April rise, revised from 156,000. These gains compare to an average of 200,000 during Q1'16 and 219,000 in Q4'15. The peak quarterly increase occurred in Q2'15 at 230,000. The latest roughly matched expectations for a 170,000 rise in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. During the last ten years, there has been a 96% correlation between the change in the ADP figure and the change in nonfarm private sector payrolls as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The ADP Research Institute survey is based on ADP's business payroll transaction system covering 411,000 companies and nearly 24 million employees. The data are processed by Moody's Analytics Inc., then calibrated and aligned with the BLS establishment survey data. The ADP data cover private sector employment only.

Small-sized businesses led last month's hiring slowdown with a 76,000 rise (2.0% y/y) after a 101,000 gain. These increases were down from the high of 123,000 averaged in Q2'15. A 63,000 increase (1.8% y/y) in hiring of medium-sized businesses was better than the 39,000 April increase, but was less than the 105,000 averaged in Q4'14. Large-sized businesses posted a 34,000 increase in jobs after a 25,000 rise, but these gains compare to 67,000 averaged in Q4'15.

Service-producing payrolls increased 175,000 after a 173,000 rise. In Q2'15 growth averaged 221,000 per month. Professional & business payrolls rose a diminished 43,000, down from 65,000 in Q2'15. Trade, transportation & utilities growth also slowed to 28,000 from a 59,000 high, but financial activities growth was fairly stable at 13,000.

Goods-producing jobs declined 1,000 after a 7,000 drop. The peak for growth came in Q4'15 with a 16,000 average monthly increase. The construction industry added 13,000 jobs after a 14,000 increase, both below last quarter's average of 23,000. Hiring in the factory sector declined 3,000, down for the fourth straight month.

The ADP National Employment Report data are maintained in Haver's USECON database; historical figures date back to April 2001 for the total and industry breakdown, and back to January 2005 for the business size breakout. The expectation figure is available in Haver's AS1REPNA database.

ADP/Moody's National Employment Report May Apr Mar May Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Nonfarm Private Payroll Employment (m/m chg, 000s) 173 166 201 2.0% 2.3% 2.2% 1.9%
 Small Payroll (1-49) 76 101 93 2.0 2.6 2.1 1.9
 Medium Payroll (50-499) 63 39 68 1.8 2.3 2.8 2.2
 Large Payroll (>500) 34 25 40 2.4 1.7 1.6 1.5
Goods-Producing -1 -7 9 0.5 1.8 2.4 1.8
  Construction 13 14 20 3.6 4.5 4.7 3.7
  Manufacturing -3 -10 -1 0.0 1.1 1.3 0.8
Service-Producing 175 173 192 2.3 2.4 2.2 1.9
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