ADP Report: Sandy Cut 86k Jobs From Payrolls Last Month

Few economists are expecting Friday’s official government report on jobs and unemployment to be anything but weak. That less-than-optimistic view was bolstered today by ADP’s National Employment Report, which said the U.S. economy added 118,000 private sector jobs last month.

The report, derived from the hundreds of thousands of payrolls ADP processes and compiled by Moody’s Analytics, blamed Hurricane Sandy for the weak job growth.

“Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the job market in November, slicing an estimated 86,000 jobs from payrolls,” said Mark Zandi, Moody’s chief economist.

The report was just slightly less than the average 125,000 forecast by economists surveyed by both Reuters and Bloomberg. ADP also also adjusted down the October job growth from 158,000 to 157,000.

Unlike previous months, where small and mid-sized business (with under 500 employees) accounted for the bulk of new jobs, in November employers with 500 and more workers added 66,000 positions, the report said. The largest employers, those with 1,000 or more employee, added 62,000 new jobs.

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Construction, a weak spot in the economy, added 23,000 jobs. Most of the gain though was offset by manufacturing’s loss of 16,000 positions. The service sector added 114,000 jobs.

The ADP numbers rarely track with the report from the U.S. Department of Labor due to differences in methodology. The Labor Department report includes both the public and the private sector. The ADP report is limited to private sector positions. However, investors and economists look to it as an indicator of what the official report may show.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.