The U.S. economy added 200,000 payroll workers on net in July, according to Automatic Data Processing (ADP). This was roughly equal to the 198,000 added in June, and it is a sign that the labor market overall has improved in the summer after weaknesses in the spring months. The average job gain in the first six months of 2013, for instance, was 165,000.
However, the news for the manufacturing sector was less upbeat, with continued slugglishness in hiring. The sector shed 5,000 workers on net in July, down from being unchanged in June. The last month with positive employment gains for the sector was March, somewhat mirroring data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) which reported declines in hiring from March to June. The official government data for July from BLS will be released on Friday, with stalled employment for the sector expected. (The consensus estimate for nonfarm payrolls is 185,000.)
The largest monthly employment gains in July were in the professional and business services (up 49,000), trade, transportation and utilities (up 45,000), and construction (up 22,000) sectors. As with previous reports, the bulk of the job creation stemmed from small and medium-sized establishments (e.g., those with less than 500 employees), adding 71 percent of the net new employment for the month.
Chad Moutray is the chief economist, National Association of Manufacturers.