ADP reports private sector added 365K jobs in October

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Private sector employers added 365,000 in October, according to payroll giant ADP, in a sign of a slowing economic recovery amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and uncertainty over the outcome of Tuesday’s presidential election.

Small businesses added 114,000 jobs last month, including 63,000 in businesses with between one and 19 employees, and 51,000 in companies with between 20 and 49 employees. Medium-size businesses with between 50 and 499 employees gained 135,000 jobs in October. Large businesses added 116,000 jobs, including 32,000 in companies with between 500 and 999 employees, and 83,000 in corporations with 1,000 employees or more.

The service-providing sector added 348,000 jobs in October, including 60,000 in professional and business services such as accounting and tax preparation, and 6,000 in financial activities such as banking. The goods-producing sector added 17,000 jobs, including 7,000 in construction and another 7,000 in manufacturing. Franchise employment increased by 49,600.

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

ADP released its monthly national employment report Wednesday morning as the outcome of Tuesday’s presidential election remained undecided as millions of mail-in ballots are yet to be counted.

“The next president, whoever that will be, will have his hands full, as the economic recovery from the recession caused by the pandemic slows,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, which compiles the national employment report with ADP. “That’s the clear message in the ADP jobs number for the month of October. This has added to payrolls last month, but the pace of job growth has slowed sharply. We’re estimating that 365,000 private sector jobs were added in the month of October.”

When the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports its jobs numbers on Friday, he predicts a gain of about 200,000 jobs. “That’s in part because we will see some sizable job losses in the federal government as the temp jobs that were associated with taking the 2020 census come to an end,” said Zandi. “That will weigh heavily on the overall job numbers, so I expect about 200K. We may see some weakness in state and local government as well. Many states have been waiting for the federal government to come through with aid. That did not happen. There was no legislation providing additional aid to state and local governments, and as a result many states with budget shortfalls will need to start resounding to that through service cuts and potentially some job cutting as well.”

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Payroll Election 2020 Coronavirus Mark Zandi ADP Moody's Analytics Small business Employment data