ADP said that manufacturing employment was flat in January, pulling back after hiring gains of 3,000 and 4,000 in November and December, respectively. Employment growth has been quite soft over the course of the past year, with manufacturing demand and production hampered by the global slowdown, a strong dollar and weaknesses in the energy sector. On a year-over-year basis, the ADP data show a decline of 18,000 employees on net for manufacturing since January 2015. This contrasts with Bureau of Labor Statistics data, which found an increase of 30,000 workers in 2015. New BLS data will come out on Friday for January.
Meanwhile, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 205,000 in January, pulling back from an increase of 267,000 in December. Yet, this was also not far from the 200,000 average experienced over the past 13 months. This is also the consensus expectation for nonfarm payrolls for Friday’s BLS report. In January, the largest job gains were in professional and business services (up 44,000); trade, transportation and utilities (up 35,000); construction (up 21,000) and financial activities (up 19,000). Small and medium-sized businesses (e.g., those with less than 500 employees) accounted for more than 78.5 percent of all net new workers in January.