Employers in the private sector added the most jobs since early 2017, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report. The tally of 271,000 jobs added exceeded economists’ estimates by nearly 100,000 jobs.
“Businesses continue to add aggressively to their payrolls despite the stock market slump and the trade war,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which produces the report with ADP. “Favorable December weather also helped lift the job market. At the current pace of job growth, low unemployment will get even lower.”
Where Jobs Are Growing
“We wrapped up 2018 with another month of significant growth in the labor market,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “Although there were increases in most sectors, the busy holiday season greatly impacted both trade and leisure and hospitality. Small businesses also experienced their strongest month of job growth all year.”
Businesses with fewer than 50 employees added 89,000 jobs last month. Medium-sized businesses (50 to 499 employees) added 129,000 jobs and large businesses (500-plus employees) added 54,000 jobs.
Several industries added jobs in December, including:
- Professional/business services (+66,000 jobs)
- Education/health services (+61,000 jobs)
- Leisure/hospitality (+39,000 jobs)
- Construction (+37,000 jobs)
- Trade/transportation/utilities (+33,000 jobs)
- Manufacturing (+12,000 jobs)
Friday’s report from the Labor Department will show jobs added to public and private non-farm payrolls, as well as the latest unemployment rate and data on wage growth. According to MarketWatch, economists predict that the report will show the addition of 184,000 jobs to nonfarm payrolls and an unemployment rate of 3.6 percent — the lowest rate in 49 years.
The PayScale Index, which measures the change in wages for employed U.S. workers, showed 0.4 year-over-year growth for Q3 2018. However, real wages — the value of workers’ pay with inflation taken into account — are currently worth 9.5 percent less than in 2006, before the last recession.
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