Goods-producing employment declined by 6,000 jobs last month, according to this morning’s ADP National Employment Report, but the total job tally for July still beat analysts’ expectations just slightly, coming in at 179,000 jobs added instead of the predicted 170,000.
Construction shed 6,000 jobs in July, after losing 28,000 in June, while manufacturing added 4,000 jobs.
Service-providing employment added 185,000 jobs last month, with gains in professional/business services (+59,000 jobs), trade/transportation/utilities (+27,000 jobs), and financial activities (+11,000 jobs).
Job growth was fairly evenly distributed across company size last month, with small businesses (1-49 employees) adding 61,000 jobs, medium-sized businesses (50-499 employees) adding 68,000 jobs, and large businesses (500-plus employees) adding 50,000 jobs.
“This month’s employment number falls short of the 12-month average primarily because of slowing in small business hiring,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and head of the ADP Research Institute, in a statement. “As the labor market continues to tighten, small businesses may increasingly face challenges when it comes to offering wages that can compete with larger businesses.”
“Job growth remains strong, but is moderating as the economy approaches full employment,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which produces the report with ADP. “Businesses are having a more difficult time filling open job positions, which are near record highs. The nation’s biggest economic problem will soon be the lack of available workers.”
Some economists think that continued slack in the labor market is a primary reason for wage stagnation; if Zandi’s prediction is correct, that could soon change. The PayScale Index, which tracks earnings for employed U.S. workers, forecasts 1.6 percent year-over-year growth for Q3 2016.
Friday’s report from the Labor Department will include data on wage growth, plus the unemployment rate and tallies for both public and private-sector payrolls, and is expected to show the addition of 180,000 jobs.
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