ADP Says Companies in U.S. Added 153,000 Employees in December

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Companies added fewer jobs than forecast in December, data from the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey, showed Thursday.

Key Points

  • Private payrolls climbed by 153,000 (forecast was 175,000) after a revised 215,000 gain in November
  • Goods-producing industries, which include manufacturers and builders, reduced headcounts by 16,000
  • Service providers boosted payrolls by 169,000

Big Picture

Businesses continue to add workers to meet sales, helping to sustain the progress that has put the job market at or near the Federal Reserve’s maximum-employment objective. The slower pace of hiring underscores the challenge for companies in finding skilled workers as the labor market tightens, one reason wage growth may accelerate. The data provide more clues on the employment situation ahead of the Friday release of the Labor Department’s monthly payrolls report, which is expected to show the economy added positions in December to cap another solid year of gains.

Economist Takeaways

“Job growth remains strong but is slowing,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said in a statement. Moody’s produces the figures with ADP. “Smaller companies are struggling to maintain payrolls while large companies are expanding at a healthy pace.”

The Details

  • Hiring in construction fell by 2,000
  • Factories subtracted 9,000 workers
  • Companies employing 500 or more workers increased staffing by 63,000 jobs; payrolls rose by 71,000 at medium-sized businesses, or those with 50 to 499 employees; while small companies expanded payrolls by 18,000
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