ADP Says Private Sector Jobs Continued Slow Growth in August

Aug 31, 2011
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

If you subscribe to the notion that any growth in jobs is good, then today’s report from ADP will be encouraging. The payroll processor said 91,000 new private sector jobs were created in August.

That’s still less than the 100,000 economists were expecting, and it’s about a third of what the U.S. needs each month to bring down the unemployment rate.  The company, and Macroeconomic Advisers, its partner in the monthly report, also adjusted downward its July estimate to 109,000 from the original 114,000.

In ever-so-cautious language, the report says that the slow job growth in August is “at a pace below what would be consistent with a stable unemployment rate.” That means that should the trend continue, unemployment may rise.

Economists expect that when the official employment numbers are released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor, they’ll show the 9.1 percent unemployment rate unchanged. New jobs are expected to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 75,000 (Bloomberg News) to 80,000 (Dow Jones Newswires).

Meanwhile, The Conference Board this morning said new online job ads in August fell for the third consecutive month, dropping by 164,000. After rising sharply in the first quarter of the year, job listings have mostly been declining and now are only 308,000 ahead of the end of 2010.

“The Supply/Demand rate stands at 3.35, indicating there were just over three unemployed for every online advertised vacancy in July, the latest monthly data available for unemployment,” The Conference Board said in releasing the job ad numbers.

Monday, The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index showed a big drop in August, as consumers expressed pessimism over economic conditions and said he expected fewer jobs in the months ahead.

This morning, however, outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas had some good news in its monthly jobs cut report. Announced layoffs, which have been growing, declined in August. The firm said “employers announced plans to trim 51,114 workers from the payrolls in August, a 23-percent decline from July, when the number of job cuts hit a 16-month high of 66,414.”

So far this year, employer  announcements total 363,334 job cuts, only 2.9 percent fewer than at the same point last year, said the company. Government and cuts in the non-profit sector accounted for 105,000 of those lost jobs, with retail, aerospace, pharma, and financial industries accounting for another 110,000.

The ADP report said the majority of the job gains in August came from small business. Employers with under 50 workers added 58,000 jobs. The biggest employers, those with more than 500 employees, added a mere 3,000 jobs.

The service sector added 80,000 jobs, while goods producers accounted for the 11,000 others. Manufacturing lost 4,000 jobs during August.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.