Payrolls Disaster? ADP Report Shows Hiring Falling Far Short of Expectations

US President Joe Biden tours the Carrollton water treatment plant on May 6, 2021, in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Has the recovery stalled?

U.S. businesses added just 330,000 jobs in July, according to a report from payroll processing firm ADP Wednesday.

That was less than half of the 680,000 forecast by analysts, according to Econoday. June’s estimate was revised down to 680,000 from the initial estimate of 692,000.

July’s job growth wa the smallest gain in ADP’s estimates since February.

The ADP report is often looked to as a forerunner of the Department of Labor’s monthly jobs report, which is due out Friday. But it has had trouble tracking that report through the pandemic period as hiring and layoffs have gyrated wildly. Some analysts say that even if ADP is not an accurate guide to the official number it is a good guide to the direction of hiring.

Leisure and hospitality added 139,000 jobs, according to ADP. Education and health services payrolls grew by 64,000.  Professional and business services climbed by 36,000.

Goods-producing industries were laggards, adding just 12,000 to the tota. Manufacturing payrolls inched up a mere 8,000. Natural resources and mining rose by 3,000 and construction by only 1,000 new positions. Those figures suggest that much of the gains in construction spending and factory orders may be nominal illusions, caused by inflation rather than rising demand for output.

Midsized companies—with 50 to 499 employees—added 132,000 jobs. Larger businesses added 106,000. Small business payrolls grew by 91,000.

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