October Is the Year's Worst Month Yet for Small Business Hiring

Small companies with less than 50 workers added just 37,000 jobs in October, the weakest showing of the year, according to the ADP National Employment Report released today, based on data from the payroll company. That’s compared to 68,000 jobs added last month.

Private sector employers of all sizes added 130,000 jobs in October, which was lower than the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The weakness reflects pain private companies felt from October’s 16-day government shutdown, and it risks reversing the nation’s slow progress in bringing down the unemployment rate, according to Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which compiles the report with ADP. “Average monthly growth has fallen below 150,000. Any further weakening would signal rising unemployment,” he said in a news release (PDF) accompanying the report.

The U.S. Labor Department’s jobs report, which will include government workers directly affected by the shutdown, is scheduled to be released on Nov. 8.