Private sector employment grew by 205,000 jobs in January, according to payroll giant ADP, in another healthy sign of employment growth despite a turbulent stock market.
ADP reported Wednesday that small businesses added 79,000 jobs in January, including 47,000 at businesses with between one and 19 employees and 32,000 at businesses with between 20 and 49 employees. The 79,000 jobs added in January were down from December’s upwardly revised total of 101,000.
Employment at midsize businesses with between 50 and 499 employees increased by 82,000 jobs, an increase from December's upwardly revised gain of 77,000 jobs.
Employment at large companies—those with 500 or more employees—grew by 44,000 jobs, representing half of December’s downwardly revised gain of 88,000 jobs. Businesses with between 500 and 999 employees added 15,000 jobs in December, while companies with 1,000 employees or more gained 30,000 jobs.
Service-providing employment rose by 192,000 jobs in January, down from an upwardly revised 237,000 in December. The professional and business services sector, which includes accounting and tax preparation services along with other types of services, contributed 44,000 jobs in January, down from 69,000 in December. The combined trade, transportation and utilities sector gained 35,000 jobs in January, up slightly from a downwardly revised 33,000 in December. The 19,000 new jobs added in financial activities were the most in that sector since March 2006. Employers also added 20,000 franchise jobs in January.
Goods-producing employment rose by 13,000 jobs in January, well off from December’s upwardly revised 30,000. The construction industry added 21,000 jobs, which was roughly in line with the average monthly jobs gained during 2015. Meanwhile, manufacturing neither added nor lost jobs, according to ADP.
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, which compiles the monthly national employment with ADP, noted that the employment gains were broad based and in line with the average of 200,000 jobs that have been added nearly every month for the past four years. The only sector that seemed to lose jobs was the energy sector, where the decline in oil prices is still having an impact.
“The energy sector is still shedding jobs, somewhere around 10,000 per month,” Zandi said during a conference call with reporters Wednesday. “That’s been the case since early 2015, so for over a year now, the energy sector is trying to right-size itself in the context of much lower oil prices. The manufacturing sector is also on the soft side. It was flat, according to ADP, in the month of January. Trade-sensitive manufacturing industries and energy-sensitive energy industries have been slowly losing jobs, but that’s been offset by continued strong activity in the vehicle-manufacturing parts of the manufacturing base. In information services, primarily print media, there are some losses, but outside of that the job growth is very strong. We’ve seen some newfound strength over the past year in the construction trades and that continued in January.”
He noted that the turmoil in the financial markets since the beginning of the year hasn’t yet affected the labor market.
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