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Economy in Brief

U.S. ADP Private Payrolls Stay on Moderate Growth Path
by Tom Moeller  August 31, 2016

The ADP/Moody's National Employment Report showed a 177,00 rise (1.9% y/y) in nonfarm private sector payrolls during August following a 194,000 July gain, revised from 179,000. So far this year, payrolls rose an average 184,000 per month, down from 207,000 averaged during 2015, and 234,000 averaged in 2014. The latest increase compared to expectations for a 175,000 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 business payrolls increased 63,000 (1.9% y/y) after a 68,000 gain. These increases were down from the high of 124,000 averaged in Q2'14. Hiring by medium-sized businesses rose 44,000 (1.6% y/y) compared to a 71,000 July increase, less than the 105,000 averaged in Q4'14. Large-sized businesses posted a 70,000 rise in jobs (2.5% y/y), the strongest since February.

Service-producing payrolls increased 183,000 (2.3% y/y) after a 199,000 rise. Professional & business payrolls rose 53,000 (3.0% y/y). Trade, transportation & utilities jobs improved 26,000 (1.4% y/y). Financial activity payrolls increased 26,000 (1.9% y/y).

Goods-producing jobs fell 6,000 (+0.1% y/y), the sixth decline in the last seven months. The construction industry shed 2,000 jobs (+2.4% y/y), the third straight monthly decline. Peak monthly hiring growth of 33,000 construction workers occurred in Q4'14. Hiring in the factory sector remained unchanged (-0.3% y/y) after a 5,000 rise. Job cutbacks in Q2 and Q1 averaged 9,000 and 3,000 per month, respectively.

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 Aug Jul Jun Aug Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Nonfarm Private Payroll Employment (m/m chg, 000s) 177 194 171 1.9% 2.3% 2.2% 1.9%
 Small Payroll (1-49) 63 68 87 1.9 2.6 2.1 1.9
 Medium Payroll (50-499) 44 71 53 1.6 2.3 2.8 2.2
 Large Payroll (>500) 70 56 31 2.5 1.7 1.6 1.5
Goods-Producing -6 -5 -28 0.1 1.8 2.4 1.8
  Construction -2 -5 -3 2.4 4.5 4.7 3.7
  Manufacturing 0 5 -16 -0.3 1.1 1.3 0.8
Service-Producing 183 199 199 2.3 2.4 2.2 1.9
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