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Economy in Brief

U.S. ADP Private Payroll Growth Slips
by Tom Moeller  May 2, 2018

The ADP/Moody's National Employment Report indicated that private nonfarm payrolls increased 204,000 during April following a 228,000 March increase, revised from 241,000. A 201,000 rise had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. So far this year, payrolls have risen an average 229,000 per month versus a 185,000 monthly average during 2017. 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 Automatic Data Processing 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 hiring increased 62,000 (1.1% y/y) in April and by an average 57,000 this year. Medium-sized payrolls gained 88,000 (2.2% y/y) and by an average 101,000 in 2018. Large-sized payrolls improved 54,000 (2.8% y/y) versus a 71,000 average this year.

Private service-sector payrolls increased a lessened 160,000 (1.8% y/y), the weakest increase since November and down from this year's average of 175,000. Professional & business services payrolls rose an improved 58,000 (2.8% y/y). Education & health services employment rose a weakened 39,000 (2.1% y/y). Employment in the leisure & hospitality sector gained a steady 36,000 (2.0% y/y). The number of trade, transportation and utilities jobs rose a lessened 14,000 (1.1% y/y), the weakest gain in six months. Financial activities jobs rose 7,000 (1.5% y/y), the weakest rise also in six months. Employment in the information sector eased a steady 2,000 (-0.7% y/y). Payrolls here have been falling since early-2016.

Employment in the goods-producing sector rose a steady 44,000 (2.3% y/y). The 27,000 increase (3.3% y/y) in construction sector payrolls was improved from last year's 19,000 average. Jobs in the factory sector rose 10,000 (1.5% y/y) versus last year's 15,000 average. In the natural resource & mining sector, jobs rose a steady 7,000 (6.1% y/y).

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 Apr Mar Feb Apr Y/Y 2017 2016 2015
Nonfarm Private Payroll Employment (m/m chg, 000s) 204 228 241 1.9% 1.8% 1.9% 2.3%
 Small Payroll (1-49) 62 42 59 1.1 1.3 1.9 1.9
 Medium Payroll (50-499) 88 120 101 2.2 1.9 1.5 2.3
 Large Payroll (>500) 54 66 81 2.8 2.3 2.7 3.0
Goods-Producing 44 53 70 2.3 1.5 0.8 2.0
  Construction 27 27 34 3.3 3.1 4.3 5.3
  Manufacturing 10 18 31 1.5 0.7 0.2 1.2
Service-Producing 160 175 170 1.8 1.8 2.2 2.3
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