Automated Data Processing (ADP) reported that total nonfarm payrolls rose 158,000 in October, higher than the 114,000 workers added in September. This month’s report marks the beginning of a new partnership with Moody’s Analytics and a new methodology. (Using the old methodology and partner, September’s net hiring according to ADP was estimated to be 162,000.) The October increase stemmed mostly from additional service sector workers, which increased by a net 144,000.

The goods-producing sectors added just 14,000 workers, mostly from construction which was up 23,000. The manufacturing sector continues to be weak, shedding 8,000 workers. Slowing global sales and anxieties about the future of the U.S. political and economic environment have taken a toll.

Tomorrow, we will get official employment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the past two months, BLS has reported that manufacturers have lost 38,000 workers on net. Today’s ADP numbers suggest that the BLS figures might be equally disappointing, with the new ADP data suggesting a loss of 42,000 workers in the past four months.

One other facet of the new methodology is that it breaks down the net job gains by greater firm size classifications. The largest increases were seen among firms with more than 1,000 employees, as they added 69,000 net new workers. Firms with 500 to 999 employees contributed another 12,000, bringing the total increase in employment for large businesses to 81,000 for the month. Still, small and medium-sized businesses, with less than 500 employees, added 77,000 net new workers, with 50,000 of those stemming from businesses with less than 50 employees.

Chad Moutray is chief economist, National Association of Manufacturers.

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