Private sector added 202,000 jobs in December, says ADP

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Private sector employers added 202,000 jobs in December, boosted by employment in professional and business services, according to payroll giant ADP.

Small businesses added 69,000 jobs in December, including 9,000 at businesses with between one and 19 employees, and 60,000 jobs at companies with between 20 and 49 employees. Medium businesses with between 50 and 499 employees added 88,000 jobs. Large businesses gained 45,000 jobs, including 26,000 at companies with between 500 and 999 employees, and 18,000 at companies with 1,000 employees or more.

The service-providing sector contributed the bulk of job gains in December, with a total of 173,000 jobs, including 61,000 in professional and business services such as accounting and tax prep, and 10,000 jobs in the financial activities sector. The goods-producing sector added 29,000 jobs. Franchises added 59,700 jobs.

"As 2019 came to a close, we saw expanded payrolls in December," said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, in a statement. "The service providers posted the largest gain since April, driven mainly by professional and business services. Job creation was strong across companies of all sizes, led predominantly by midsized companies."

ADP also revised upward the number of jobs added in November from 67,000 to 124,000. However, there are some signs of a slowdown coming this year.

"Looking through the monthly vagaries of the data, job gains continue to moderate,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, which compiles the monthly national employment report with ADP, in a statement. “Manufacturers, energy producers and small companies have been shedding jobs. Unemployment is low, but will begin to rise if job growth slows much further."

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