Private sector businesses added 179,000 jobs in April, according to payroll giant ADP.
The gains came across all sectors, with small businesses of one to 49 employees adding 84,000 jobs, and midsized businesses with between 50 and 499 employees adding another 84,000 positions. Large businesses with 500 employees or more added another 11,000 jobs.
Among all sizes of businesses, the service sector added 138,000 jobs, while the goods-producing sector hired another 41,000 people.
Within small businesses, 70,000 jobs were added in the service-providing sector, and 14,000 in the goods-producing sector.
“The number today is spot on close to expectations,” said Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, which compiles the reports with ADP. “It’s no surprise in the financial markets. It’s a very nice increase in manufacturing of 25,000 jobs, consistent with economic indicators. It’s also encouraging to me that employment in construction rose 9,000 for the month, and eked out a modest net gain. There is some evidence that a bottom is forming for construction employment.”
He noted that employment increased in every one of the major sectors that the report covers, including goods, services, and in each size class of payrolls and each of the industries on which ADP reports.
“There’s not a single negative number in the entire table this month,” said Prakken. “This tells us that the employment gains we’re reporting are pretty broadly spread across the economy.”
He noted that employment accelerated around the turn of the year and has been averaging around 200,000 extra jobs a month, although the April report showed this was a little less, at 179,000 jobs gained overall.
“We had initially cheered that,” he said. However, Prakken added that there was no sign of a further acceleration from the current rate, and it would take a very long time to regain the previous high levels of employment seen before the recession.
“I’m becoming a little disappointed at not seeing stronger numbers,” Prakken admitted. “We need to go up to numbers in the 300,000 range to show that the labor market is unambiguously improving. The numbers are up, and there is evidence that the broader sectors have turned around, but I wouldn’t call this robust.”
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