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Private-Sector employment rises more than expected in January

The ADP Research Institute reported Wednesday that the private sector added 205,000 new jobs in January. Economists had expected about 195,000 new jobs, Bloomberg News (2/3, Stilwell) reports. The ongoing trend in hiring is “a sign companies are optimistic that demand will improve after a fourth-quarter growth slowdown.” In a statement accompanying the report, Moody’s Analytics economist Mark Zandi said, “Job growth remains strong despite the turmoil in the global economy and financial markets. Manufacturers and energy companies are reducing payrolls, but job gains across all other industries remain robust.”

The AP (2/3, Rugaber) says private-sector hiring was “lifted by robust gains in services and construction and extending a streak of steady hiring.” ADP’s report shows “financial services, retailers and professional services firms also hired at a steady pace. The figures suggest that companies focused on the domestic economy remain healthy, despite gyrations in the financial markets and slowing global growth.” According to the Los Angeles Times (2/3, Puzzanghera), the ADP figures show “hiring by US businesses slowed in January, but private-sector job growth remained solid in a sign the labor market has been able to withstand the recent financial market turmoil.” On its website, the Wall Street Journal (2/3, Beilfuss, Subscription Publication) said that even though other sectors of the economy are slowing, the ADP report shows the labor market remains a pillar of strength for the economy.

NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray states in his Shopfloor (2/4) blog that after seeing hiring gains during the previous two months, “ADP said that manufacturing employment was flat in January.” Moutray states that “Employment growth has been quite soft over the course of the past year,” as the strong dollar, global slowdown, and weakened energy sector have hindered manufacturing demand and production. Moutray also points out that ADP data “contrasts with Bureau of Labor Statistics data,” with the former showing a net decline of 18,000 employees since January 2015, while the latter shows a net increase of 30,000 employees. Moutray notes that “Small and medium-sized businesses…accounted for more than 78.5 percent” of the January job gains. Breaking the numbers down by sector, Moutray adds that trade, transportation and utilities added 35,000 jobs and construction added 21,000.

Associated Industries of Missouri is the sole official designated partner of the National Association of Manufacturers in Missouri.

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