An independent measure of U.S. employment indicated Wednesday that the pace of hiring by private sector employers slowed in January.
The payroll processing company ADP said its gauge showed monthly payrolls at American businesses grew by 107,000 in the first month of 2024, a slowdown from the downwardly revised 158,000 in December.
The December figure was revised down from 164,000.
Economists polled by Econoday had forecast 145,000 for January.
The ADP payroll estimate no longer tries to anticipate the Department of Labor’s official nonfarm payroll figures. It is instead intended to be an independent measure of the labor market.
The government will release its preliminary estimate of January payrolls on Friday. Economists expect nonfarm payrolls will increase by 170,000, below the 216,000 reported for December. Private sector payrolls are seen as rising by 142,000, lower than the 164,000 in December.
Some economists look to ADP for a general indicator of the direction of hiring over time. So if ADP’s figure is consistently declining or rising, it is likely that the official figures will follow a similar path.
ADP’s report claims that the strongest job growth in January came in the leisure and hospitality sector, followed by transportation, construction, and health and human services. The information sector shed jobs, according to ADP.