U.S. businesses accelerated the pace of hiring in May, according to data released Thursday by payroll processing firm ADP.
ADP estimates that 978,000 employees were added to private-sector payrolls in the month. Economists had estimated the ADP report would show 650,000 workers added.
The hiring was widespread, according to ADP. Small, medium and large businesses each added over 300,000 workers. The services sector added 850,000 new workers, including 440,000 in leisure and hospitality. The goods-producing sector added 128,000, with 65,000 in construction and 52,000 in manufacturing, ADP said.
The information subsector sector shed 3,000 jobs, according to the report. It was the only major subsector estimated by ADP to have lost workers.
The ADP report is often looked to as a forerunner of the Department of Labor’s monthly jobs report, which is due out Friday. But it has had trouble tracking that report through the pandemic period as hiring and layoffs have gyrated wildly. Some analysts say that even if ADP is not an accurate guide to the official number it is a good guide to the direction of hiring.
Last month, ADP said private payrolls grew in April by 742,000. The Department of Labor said private payrolls grew by just 218,000, far short of expectations for a figure closer to one million. On Thursday, ADP revised down its April estimate to 654,000.
Overall nonfarm payrolls grew by 266,000 in April, according to the Department of Labor’s preliminary read released last month. May’s figure, due out Friday, is expected to show 6450,000 jobs, including 600,000 in the private sector. The unemployment rate is expected to fall from 6.1 percent to 5.9 percent.