Jobs

ADP Signals Jobs Market Not as Bad as Last Month's BLS Payrolls Reading

Jon C. Ogg

Each month we get a sneak peek that is a kind of preview for the Labor Department’s nonfarm and private sector payrolls via the ADP National Employment Report. After a weak reading from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for September, ADP is suggesting that the private payrolls grew by 182,000 jobs in the month of October. Dow Jones was projecting 180,000 and Bloomberg was projecting that the prior figure would be 185,000.

The September report was revised lower, to 190,000 from the preliminary 200,000 report.

Again, ADP’s report is used as a preview of private sector and nonfarm payrolls that will be released on Friday. ADP’s report is derived from ADP’s actual payroll data and it measures the change in total nonfarm private employment each month on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Of the total nonfarm private employment gains of 182,000, the breakdown by business size was as follows: small businesses added 90,000 jobs, medium-sized businesses added 63,000 and large businesses added 22,000 jobs.

As a reminder, the formal September payrolls report from the BLS showed a preliminary reading of only 142,000 — a huge disappointment. Bloomberg has the consensus estimate for this coming Friday’s October report at 190,000 in nonfarm payrolls (with a range of 150,000 to 240,000) and a consensus of 174,000 in private sector payrolls (with a range of 140,000 to 230,000).

Now we just have to wait and see if September’s low reading from the BLS was a fluke or if ADP is simply overcounting.

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