Private-sector employers added 135,000 jobs last month, according to the ADP National Employment Report, which was released this morning. That’s the lowest tally since October 2016, although slightly higher than economists’ predictions of 125,000 jobs added.
A stormy hurricane season is at least partly to blame.
“Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hurt the job market in September,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which produces the report with ADP. “Looking through the storms the job market remains sturdy and strong.”
Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, said that the weather impacted smaller retailers. The Street reports that unemployment claims saw an uptick in the weeks following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
However, there may be other factors at play. Yildirmaz said that “the continued slowdown we have seen in small business hiring could be due to a lack of competitive compensation to attract skilled talent.”
The PayScale Index, which measures the change in wages for employed U.S. workers, showed year-over-year wage growth of 2.4 percent in Q2. But, when inflation is taken into account, real wage growth was just 0.5 percent for the same period — and the value of workers’ wages has declined 7.5 percent overall since 2006.
Where Jobs Are Growing
The goods-producing sector added 48,000 jobs last month, with gains centered in construction (+29,000 jobs), manufacturing (+18,000 jobs) and mining (+1,000 jobs).
On the service-providing side, two industries shed jobs in September: trade/transportation/utilities (-18,000 jobs) and information (-11,000 jobs). Other industries added jobs, including business/professional services (+51,000 jobs), healthcare/social assistance (+28,000 jobs), leisure/hospitality (+20,000 jobs) and financial activities (+4,000 jobs).
Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees declined by 7,000 jobs last month. Medium-sized businesses (50-449 employees) added 63,000 jobs, while large businesses (500-plus employees) added 79,000 jobs.
The Department of Labor’s jobs report, which includes all non-farm payrolls, plus information on unemployment and wage growth, will be released Friday morning. Data provider FactSet forecasts a tally of just 80,000 jobs, according to Reuters.
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