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Economy in Brief

U.S. ADP Nonfarm Private Payrolls Strengthen in May
by Tom Moeller  June 3, 2021

• Surprisingly strong increase is fifth consecutive rise.

• Improvement is widespread amongst company size.

• Industry improvement is widespread.

The job market continued to improve last month. The ADP National Employment Report indicated that May nonfarm private sector payrolls increased 978,000 (8.0% y/y) during May. It was the largest increase since last June. The gain came after a 654,000 rise in April, revised from 742,000. The March gain also was revised downward to 519,000 from 565,000. A 620,000 May increase had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Small-sized payrolls grew 333,000 (10.0% y/y) during May after increasing 214,000 in April, revised from 235,000. Medium-sized payrolls rose 338,000 (10.0% y/y) following a 211,000 April increase, revised from 230,000. Large-sized payrolls gained 308,000 last month (6.1% y/y) after rising 229,000 during April, revised from 277,000.

Within industry sectors, private service employment increased 850,000 (8.4% y/y) following 563,000 April rise, revised from 636,000. A 440,000 surge (31.0% y/y) in leisure & hospitality hiring followed a 251,000 April gain and remained the largest increase since June of last year. The number of education & health services jobs rose 139,000 in May (6.1% y/y) and have risen in each month since May of last year. Jobs in trade, transportation & utilities rose 118,000 (6.1% y/y) after increasing 103,000 in April. A 68,000 rise (5.0% y/y) in the number of professional business services jobs followed an 81,000 gain. Jobs in financial services rose 20,000 (1.6% y/y), the largest increase since September. The number of information sector jobs fell 3,000 (-1.3% y/y), down for the seventh straight month.

Employment amongst goods-producing firms increased 128,000 (6.1% y/y) after improving 91,000 in April, revised from 106,000. The number of factory sector jobs strengthened 52,000 last month (5.3% y/y) after rising 45,000. The size of construction sector payrolls rose 65,000 in May (7.8% y/y) following a 37,000 increase. Employment in the natural resource & mining sector rose 11,000 (3.3% y/y) where gains have accelerated during the last four months.

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.

ADP/Moody's National Employment Report May Apr Mar May Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Nonfarm Private Payroll Employment (m/m chg, 000s) 978 654 519 8.0 -6.4 1.4 1.9
 Small Payroll (1-49) 333 214 186 10.0 -5.8 0.2 0.8
 Medium Payroll (50-499) 338 211 194 10.0 -7.2 1.9 2.2
 Large Payroll (>500) 308 229 140 6.1 -6.3 1.7 2.4
Goods-Producing 128 91 86 6.1 -4.1 1.5 3.0
  Construction 65 37 43 7.8 -2.5 2.5 4.4
  Manufacturing 52 45 40 5.3 -4.7 1.0 2.1
Service-Producing 850 563 433 8.4 -6.8 1.3 1.7
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