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Economy in Brief

U.S. ADP Private Payroll Increase Is Stronger-Than-Expected
by Tom Moeller  August 1, 2018

The ADP/Moody's National Employment Report indicated that private nonfarm payrolls increased 219,000 (1.9% y/y) during July following a 181,000 rise in June, revised from 177,000. A 180,000 improvement had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The three-month moving average of ADP payrolls gains has accelerated to 199,000, the quickest speed since April and up from the 185,000 averaged 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.

Medium-sized payrolls surged 119,000 (2.3% y/y), the strongest increase since October 2014. Large-sized payrolls improved 48,000 (2.8% y/y) and monthly gains have been slowing since the middle of last year. Small-sized business payrolls increased 52,000 (1.0% y/y), the quickest increase since February and roughly equal to last year's average.

Private service-producing payrolls increased 177,000 (1.8% y/y), the quickest gain in twelve months. Education & health services employment rose a strengthened 48,000 (2.1% y/y) while professional & business services jobs rose 47,000 (2.6% y/y). Employment in the leisure & hospitality sector increased an improved 37,000 (2.1% y/y), more-than-double the growth three months earlier. The number of trade, transportation and utilities jobs firmed a steady 21,000 (1.1% y/y). Financial activities jobs strengthened 15,000 (1.6% y/y), double the gains earlier this year. Employment in the information sector eased 1,000 (-0.4% y/y), the fourth monthly decline this year.

Employment in the goods-producing sector rose 42,000 (2.3% y/y), improved from the gains near the middle of last year. Jobs in the factory sector increased an improved 23,000 (1.8% y/y). Construction employment rose 17,000 (2.9% y/y), but that was half the growth earlier this year. Jobs in the natural resource & mining sector gained 3,000 (6.9% y/y), but recent gains have been slowing.

The ADP National Employment Report data can be found 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 Jul Jun May Jul Y/Y 2017 2016 2015
Nonfarm Private Payroll Employment (m/m chg, 000s) 219 181 196 1.9% 1.8% 1.9% 2.3%
 Small Payroll (1-49) 52 31 49 1.0 1.3 1.9 1.9
 Medium Payroll (50-499) 119 80 94 2.3 1.9 1.5 2.3
 Large Payroll (>500) 48 69 53 2.8 2.3 2.7 3.0
Goods-Producing 42 28 34 2.3 1.5 0.8 2.0
  Construction 17 12 9 2.9 3.1 4.3 5.3
  Manufacturing 23 12 17 1.8 0.7 0.2 1.2
Service-Producing 177 153 162 1.8 1.8 2.2 2.3
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