ADP JANUARY Jobs Report: 291,000 JOBS CREATED In The Private Sector
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ADP Reports 291,000 Private-Sector Jobs Were Created in January
Feb. 5, 2020 10:07 am ET
Private hiring surged in January, giving investors reason to believe Friday’s nonfarm payroll number from the Labor Department will be solid.
Payroll processor ADP said nongovernment payrolls rose 291,000 last month, up from a revised 199,000 in December. That is far higher than the 157,000 economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted, and it marks the best reading since May 2015.
Investors shouldn’t make too much of the ADP measure as a predictive gauge. ADP doesn’t seek to replicate the Labor Department’s methodology and the samples aren’t the same. ADP includes certain macro factors in its model, meaning it isn’t simply a survey of its clients’ payrolls. At the same time, revisions can be large and the gaps wide between it and Labor Department nonfarm payrolls.
Still, many traders and analysts value the monthly report as the last big clue ahead of the Labor Department’s employment report.
Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which collaborates with ADP on the report, said mild winter weather “provided a significant boost” to the January employment gain. That was apparent especially in the leisure, hospitality and construction industries. “Abstracting from the vagaries of the data, underlying job growth is close to 125,000 per month,” Zandi said, which is consistent with low and stable unemployment.”
Economists have been anticipating that Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report would show an increase of 162,000 jobs, up slightly from December’s 145,000 and consistent with decelerating but still solid job growth. They sometimes revise their nonfarm estimates after the ADP report, and they might do so before Friday to account for a better-than-expected weather boost.
Some economists, though, are dismissing the blowout ADP number as indicative of Friday’s report.
“The usual caveat: ADP is far from infallible for signaling the BLS payrolls data,” said Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics. She said that the initially reported rise in the BLS payrolls series was 63,000 lower than the initially reported ADP figure in December, while the BLS number beat the ADP number by 187,000 in November. “There may be some upside risk,” Farooqi said, but she continues to forecast a gain of 160,000 jobs in January nonfarm payrolls.