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ADP Payrolls Report Comes in Soft

Investors and economists are using every jobs reading they can get their hands on to presage this Friday’s unemployment and payrolls report. The ADP National Employment Report is often used as a preliminary barometer for that reading. ADP said that private sector employment increased by 190,000 jobs in the month of August.

Bloomberg was calling for 210,000 earlier this week, and Dow Jones (Wall Street Journal) was calling for 200,000. While this is light on the reading, it is not so far off that economists are likely to change their Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expectations.

This ADP report is derived from ADP’s systemwide payroll data, and it aims to measure the change in total nonfarm private employment each month on a seasonally adjusted basis. Small businesses added 85,000 of the jobs, medium-sized businesses added 66,000 of the jobs, and large businesses added about 40,000 jobs.

The goods-producing sector was 17,000 jobs, and service-providing jobs were 173,000 of the 190,000 total. By sector these were listed as follows:

  • Construction 17,000
  • Manufacturing 7,000
  • Trade/transportation/utilities 28,000
  • Financial activities 13,000
  • Professional/business services 29,000

What to expect from the BLS on Friday: As far as the nonfarm payrolls report, the Wall Street Journal is forecasting 220,000 for August. Bloomberg currently has the consensus estimate at 223,000. The private sector payrolls report is expected to show a gain of 211,000 for August, and the official unemployment rate is seen falling to 5.2% in August from 5.3% in July.

S&P 500 and Dow futures were already indicated higher on Wednesday morning. After the report, S&P futures were up 11.75 and the Dow futures were up 105.

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By Jon C. Ogg