ADP Says Companies in U.S. Added 173,000 Employees in May

Companies added about the same number of workers to U.S. payrolls in May as in the prior month, a private report showed Thursday, indicating employment is settling into a slower pace.

Key Points

  • Private payrolls climbed by 173,000, (matching forecast), following a revised 166,000 gain in April, according to the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey
  • Goods-producing industries, which included manufacturers and builders, cut headcounts by 1,000
  • Payrolls at service providers increased by 175,000

Big Picture

Since adding about 200,000 a month on average in the first three months of the year, the pace of hiring at companies is taking a step down after the world’s largest economy barely grew in the first quarter. Federal Reserve policy makers, considering when to raise interest rates next, have said they expect continued improvement in the job market.

Economist Takeaways

  • “Job growth has moderated this spring as energy companies and manufacturers shed jobs,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said in a statement. Moody’s produces the figures with ADP. “Retailers are also more circumspect in their hiring. Despite the recent slowdown, job growth remains strong enough to reduce underemployment."

The Details

  • Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from gains of 105,000 to 205,000. The prior month’s figure was previously reported as an advance of 156,000
  • Hiring in construction rose by 13,000
  • Factories cut 3,000 workers
  • Companies employing 500 or more workers increased hiring by 34,000 jobs; Medium-sized businesses, or those with 50 to 499 employees, added 63,000; Small companies grew payrolls by 76,000
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