September 2017 ADP Job Growth Is 135,000 – Blame It On The Hurricanes?

ADP reported non-farm private jobs growth at 135,000. This low number is blamed on the hurricanes and competitive conditions.

Analyst Opinion of ADP Employment Situation

This month the rate of ADPs private employment year-over-year growth remained in the tight range seen over the last year.

When the goods sector of the economy is gaining more workers than historically – it is a warning that something is wrong. This is the second month in a row of the service sector weakness.

ADP employment has not been a good predictor of BLS non-farm private job growth.

  • The market expected from Bloomberg / Econoday 45,000 to 175,000 (consensus 150,000) versus the 135,000 reported. These numbers are all seasonally adjusted;
  • In Econintersect‘s September 2017 economic forecast released in late June, we estimated non-farm private payroll growth at 150,000 (based on economic potential) and 205,000 (fudged based on current overrun of economic potential).
  • This month, ADP’s analysis is that small and medium sized business created 41 % of all jobs [very small percentage].
  • Manufacturing jobs grew 18,000.
  • 65 % of the jobs growth came from the service sector. [another unusually small percentage]
  • The August ADP report (last month), which reported job gains of 237,000 was revised to 228,000.
  • The three month rolling average of year-over-year job growth rate is 1.98 % (insignificantly different than last month’s 1.99%)
  • ADP changed their methodology starting with their October 2012 report, and ADP’s real time estimates are currently worse than the BLS.

    Per Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics:

    Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hurt the job market in September. Looking through the storms the job market remains sturdy and strong.

    Per Ahu Yildirmaz, VP and head of the ADP Research Institute.

    In September, small businesses experienced a dip in hiring. This is in part due to Hurricane’s Harvey and Irma which significantly impacted smaller retailers. In addition, the continued slow down we have seen in small business hiring could be due to a lack of competitive compensation to attract skilled talent.

    Jobs growth of 150,000 or more is calculated by Econintersect to the minimum jobs growth to support population growth (see caveats below). The graph below shows ADP employment gains by month.

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    Author: Travis Esquivel

    Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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