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Economy in Brief

U.S. ADP Nonfarm Private Payrolls Recover With Unexpected Strength in January
by Tom Moeller  February 3, 2021

• Job increase more-than-recoups December decline.

• Broad-based sector gains are logged.

• Medium-sized payrolls post strongest increase.

Despite the COVID-19 epidemic and winter weather, the labor market improved last month. The ADP National Employment Report indicated that nonfarm private sector payrolls improved 174,000 (-7.3% y/y) during January following a 78,000 December decline, revised from -123,000. November's increase was revised to 299,000 from 304,000. A 63,000 January rise had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The ADP report is based on survey data through January 12.

Large payrolls increased 39,000 (-8.1% y/y) last month following a 109,000 December decline, revised from -147,000. Small-sized payrolls increased 51,000 after falling 12,000 in December, revised from -13,000. Medium-sized payrolls rose 84,000 last month (-7.9% y/y) following a 43,000 gain, revised from 37,000.

Within industry sectors, private service employment increased 156,000 (-8.0% y/y) after a 73,000 December decline, revised from -105,000.The number of education & health services jobs rose 54,000 (-4.2% y/y) and have risen in each month since May. A 35,000 rise (-23.6% y/y) in leisure & hospitality hiring followed a 79,000 December loss. Jobs in trade, transportation & utilities rose 16,000 (-5.3% y/y) after falling 29,000 in December. A 40,000 rise (-5.9% y/y) in the number of professional business services jobs extended the sequential monthly job gain since May. Jobs in financial services edged 1,000 higher (-1.5% y/y) after increasing 3,000 during December. The number of information sector jobs eased 2,000 (-10.5% y/y), down for the third straight month.

Employment amongst goods-producing firms recovered 19,000 (-3.8% y/y) after falling 5,000 during December, revised from -18,000. The number of factory sector jobs edged 1,000 higher (-4.6% y/y) after falling 14,000 which was the first decline since April. The size of construction sector payrolls rose 18,000 (-1.8% y/y) following a 9,000 increase. Employment in the natural resource & mining sector held steady (-11.0% y/y) for the second consecutive month.

The Automatic Data Processing Research Institute survey covers 411,000 companies and includes about one-fifth of U.S. private payroll employment. The data are processed by Moody's Analytics Inc., then calibrated and aligned with the BLS establishment survey data. The ADP data cover private sector employment only.

The ADP National Employment Report data can be found in Haver's USECON database. Historical figures date back to 2001 for private employment and the industry breakdown, and 2005 for the business size breakout. The expectation figure is available in Haver's AS1REPNA database.

Can Government Spending Help to Escape Recessions? from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco can be found here.

ADP/Moody's National Employment Report Jan Dec Nov Jan Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Nonfarm Private Payroll Employment (m/m chg, 000s) 174 -78 299 -7.3 -6.3 1.5 1.8
 Small Payroll (1-49) 51 -12 107 -5.2 -5.9 0.2 0.6
 Medium Payroll (50-499) 84 43 130 -7.9 -7.4 2.0 2.0
 Large Payroll (>500) 39 -109 62 -8.1 -6.0 1.9 2.3
Goods-Producing 19 -5 30 -3.8 -4.0 1.6 2.9
  Construction 18 9 21 -1.8 -2.3 2.7 4.1
  Manufacturing 1 -14 8 -4.6 -4.7 1.0 1.9
Service-Producing 156 -73 269 -8.0 -6.8 1.5 1.6
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