US Businesses Hiring at a Healthy Pace
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US businesses continued to hire at a healthy pace in January, a sign the economy is off to a solid start for the year.
Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that companies added 234,000 jobs, led by big gains in services firms, such as hotels, restaurants, retail, education and health.
Job gains at that pace are easily enough to drive down the already-low unemployment rate over time. The rate has remained at 4.1% for the past 3 months.
Businesses are optimistic about the economy, particularly after the President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul was approved last month.
In December, ADP’s report showed employers added 242,000 jobs.
Highlights of ADP Employment (January)
Private payrolls increased by 234-K (185-K est.) after a revised 242-K increase in December.
Payrolls in goods-producing industries, which include builders and manufacturers, rose 22-K; factory employment increased 12-K Service providers added 212-K workers to payrolls, the most since November 2016
The data show a continuing trend of robust hiring as companies remain desperate for skilled and experienced workers.
While steady job gains are filter through into higher wage growth, companies including Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL), FedEx Corp.(NYSE:FDX), Wal-Mart Stores Inc.(NYSE:WMT), Exxon-Mobile (NYSE:XOM), and about 200 others offered bonuses in the wake of a Republican tax bill signed by Trump late last year.
The January ADP figure compares with the Bloomberg survey median for a 181,000 increase in private payrolls, when the government issues its monthly jobs report on Friday.
“The job market juggernaut marches on,” the chief economist of Moody’s Analytics Inc. said in the statement.
Moody’s produces the figures with ADP. “Given the strong January job gain, Y 2018 is on track to be the 8th consecutive year in which the economy creates over 2-M jobs. If it falls short, it is likely because businesses can’t find workers to fill all the open job positions.”
- Construction payrolls increased 9,000
- Professional and business services added 46,000 workers, and leisure and hospitality also took on 46,000 employees
- Payrolls in trade, such as retailers, transportation and utilities, increased 51,000 in January, while health care companies took on 41,000 workers
- Large firms, those employing 500 or more workers, increased staffing by 85,000 jobs; payrolls rose by 91,000 at medium-sized businesses, or those with 50 to 499 employees; and small companies added 58,000 jobs