A private survey of U.S. companies showed employment growth picking up last month, although its headline number missed Wall Street expectations.
Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that businesses added 428,000 jobs in August. That figure covers only the U.S. private sector and does not include government jobs gained or lost.
The ADP survey has badly undercounted employment since the economy began to recovery this summer. It initially reported 167,000 jobs added in July compared with 1.763 million in the government’s official report on the employment situation. The private sector added 1.4 million in the government report. On Wednesday, ADP revised its July estimate up to 212,000.
For August, forecasters predicted the ADP estimate would come in at 900,000.
The ADP number correctly predicted the slowdown from June to July, even though the magnitude was so far off base. The pickup from ADP’s August number may indicate that employment it re-accelerating.
The August jobs report from the government will be released Friday. Nonfarm payrolls are expected to expand by 1.4 million, a slowdown from the 1.8 million in July. The unemployment rate is expected to have fallen to 9.8 percent from 10.2 percent.