According to a report from payroll-processing firm ADP Inc. the U.S. added 192,000 private-sector jobs in January, led by a 177,000 jump in the number of service-providing jobs. This increase is around 19,000 more jobs than economists had predicted.
Business and financial news site MarketWatch said the economists it polled had expected the ADP data to show a gain of 173,000 jobs for the nation’s private sector.
“The January [ADP] print is in line with our view of the solid underlying momentum in labor markets and would be in line with our expectation of a 150,000 rise in nonfarm payrolls and a drop in the unemployment rate to 7.7% in Friday’s BLS employment report,” Cooper Howes, economist at Barclays Capital, said.
The construction sector added 15,000 jobs this month. There were also job gains in the trade, transportation and utilities sector (33,000), professional and business services (40,000), and in financial activities (12,000). The manufacturing industry lost 3,000 jobs.
The ADP data was overshadowed by Thursday’s government economic and job data showing that the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter, confounding estimates.
MarketWatch reported that most economists are taking a “wait-and-see” approach on the question of whether the ADP data are a reliable precursor of the government’s data.
In December, ADP initially reported a gain of 215,000 jobs, a 47,000 addition to the BLS’s subsequent private-payroll figure of 168,000. Yet, ADP went on to revise December’s result to a gain of 185,000 private-sector jobs, a 30,000 decrease from the prior estimate.