U.S. private employers added far fewer jobs than expected in November, the fewest since May, according to a report Wednesday from private payroll processor ADP and Moody’s Analytics.
The ADP National Employment Report said U.S. employers added just 67,000. The median forecast by economists was for 156,000, according to Econoday.
Also adding to the impression that the job market has cooled was a downward revision to October’s figure, from 125,000 to 121,000.
It’s likely that the undershoot in the private payroll number will make Wall Street economists rethink their rosy projections for the official jobs number due out Friday from the Labor Department. That is expected to show that 187,000 jobs were created in November.
But Moody’s could be underestimating private payroll growth. GM workers returned to work in November, as did workers temporarily let go from supplier to the automakers. That unusual event might not have been picked up in the ADP numbers.
Moody’s said manufacturing shed 6,000 jobs for the month, perhaps an indication that the GM strike was not properly accounted for. But natural resource extraction and construction also shed jobs for the month, bringing the goods-producing sector’s job losses up to 18,000. Trade, transportation and utilities jobs contracted by 15,000.
Education and health care services was the strongest sector, adding 39,000 jobs in November. Professional and business services tacked on 28,000. Wall Street gained 11,000. Leisure and hospitality added 18,000.
Information technology services, however, contracted by 8,000.
Bigger businesses were the engines of job creation for the month, according to Moody’s. Companies with 500 or more employees added 27,000. Those with between 50 and 499 added 29.000, and those with 20 to 49 workers added 25,000.
Jobs at smaller businesses contracted by 15,000 in November.