According to ADP, after slightly declining by 1,000 in July, manufacturing employment rebounded in August, with the sector adding 16,000 net new workers for the month. This was the fastest pace since March, and since November, manufacturers have increased their workforce by an average of nearly 14,650 per month. That continues to represent a turnaround relative to one year ago, with manufacturing employment down by 19,000 in August 2016 and hiring flat for 2016 as a whole. We hope this bodes well for continued job growth moving forward.
Meanwhile, total private employment increased by 237,000 workers in August, up from a revised 201,000 gain in July. (July’s increase was estimated originally to be 178,000.) Nonfarm private payrolls have risen by 222,952 per month on average year to date, notably higher than the 179,327 workers added each month in the second half of 2016. As such, the labor market has strengthened so far in 2017, which is promising. In addition to manufacturing, the largest employment growth in August included trade, transportation and utilities (up 56,000), leisure and hospitality (up 51,000), education and health services (up 45,000), professional and business services (up 39,000), construction (up 18,000) and financial activities (up 11,000). Small and medium-sized businesses (i.e., those with fewer than 500 employees) accounted for just more than half of all net new workers in August.