Automated Data Processing (ADP) said that nonfarm payroll growth rose 176,000 in May, lower than in the previous two months but in-line with expectations. The average employment gain so far in the first eight months of 2013 was 170,000, suggesting that August’s overall job creation was on pace with what we have been seeing. This is marginally higher than the 163,000 average experienced in 2012, even as hiring slowed considerably in the second half of last year.
Manufacturing employment has been quite sluggish over the course of the past year. As evidence of this, the ADP data indicate that just 12,000 manufacturing jobs were added on net from August 2012 to August 2013. Moreover, hiring was negative in seven of the past 12 months. The good news was that manufacturers added 5,000 additional workers in August.
We will get new jobs data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tomorrow morning, which should make similar figures for nonfarm and manufacturing employment growth in August. With that said, BLS has had slightly higher year-over-year growth for the manufacturing sector (although still not robust by any means) of 40,000 additional workers from July 2012 to July 2013.
Looking specifically at the ADP report, service-providing sectors added 165,000 net new workers in the month, with the goods-producing sectors contributing 11,000. The largest gains came from professional and business services (up 50,000) and trade, transportation and utilities (up 40,000). Construction hiring rose by 4,000. Over 82 percent of net new jobs in the month came from small and medium-sized businesses (e.g., those with less than 500 employees).
Chad Moutray is the chief economist, National Association of Manufacturers.
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