Private employers added 125,000 jobs in October, slightly more than economists anticipated, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.
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Economists surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting 120,000 jobs. Medium-size businesses, which employ 50 to 499 people, accounted for almost half of the jobs, with 64,000 created, according to ADP. Small businesses, or those with 1 to 49 workers, generated about 17,000 jobs. Large businesses added 44,000 positions.
“While job growth continues to soften, there are certain segments of the labor market that remain strong,” Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, said in a statement.
Most hiring took place in the services sector, with 138,000 new jobs created. But the goods-producing sector lost 13,000 jobs — including 4,000 in manufacturing.
"The job slowdown is most pronounced at manufacturers and small companies," Moody's chief economist Mark Zandi said in a statement. "If hiring weakens any further, unemployment will begin to rise."
Wednesday's report also included a sharp downward revision in September's numbers. The ADP Research Institute said the private sector added a mere 93,000 jobs last month, a drop of 31 percent from the 135,000 originally reported.
The data precedes the release of a more closely watched update from the Labor Department on Friday, which is expected to show the U.S. economy added 85,000 jobs in October. Analysts anticipate unemployment will edge higher to 3.6 percent, up from 3.5 percent in September – a 50-year low. In September, the U.S. added a weaker-than-expected 136,000 positions.
ADP's report also precedes a key Federal Reserve announcement on Wednesday at 2 p.m. Policymakers at the U.S. central bank are widely expected to cut interest rates by 25 basis points, then hit pause.