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Private Payroll Numbers Miss Optimistic Projections

November 04, 2020 at 03:32PM

Private sector payroll was sluggish in October, according to an ADP report on Wednesday (Nov. 4). The numbers missed optimistic projections as coronavirus infections continued to surge.

U.S. businesses were forecast to add 600,000 jobs, according to a Dow Jones survey, per a report by CNBC. The private sector added 365,000, which is the lowest number since July. September posted job gains of 753,000.

Produced by the ADP Research Institute in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics, the monthly report gleans information from ADP payroll data. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its monthly report on Friday (Nov. 7). 

The services vertical was responsible for the addition of 348,000 positions, and the hospitality industry grew by 125,000 jobs. Education and health services added 79,000 positions and professional and business services added 60,000.

Goods-producing industries grew by 17,000, construction added 7,000 jobs, manufacturing grew by 7,000, and natural resources and mining rose by 3,000.

Companies with 50 to 499 employees added the most jobs with 135,000. Bigger businesses contributed 116,000 and smaller companies grew by 114,000 positions. During March and April, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 22 million jobs were lost.

“The labor market continues to add jobs, yet at a slower pace,” Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, said in a statement. “Although the pace is slower, we’ve seen employment gains across all industries and sizes.”

New infections are surging, with daily infections up in all but three states, according to the COVID Tracking Project and Johns Hopkins University. Infection rates have topped 9.3 million and 224,000 people have died. The infection rate in the five days leading up to the election broke records and hospitalizations are accelerating. The number of new patients nationwide went up 10,000 in two weeks.

The September ADP report showed an increase in private sector growth of 749,000, with the biggest gains in the trade, transportation, manufacturing and healthcare sectors.

New unemployment claims have been steadily dropping, with last week’s dip to 751,000 being the lowest since the start of the pandemic. Unemployment is still much higher than it was the week ending March 14, with 282,000 claims filed.

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