The Economy

Private Sector Hiring Slows in November

U.S. companies hired 307,000 employees last month, missing the 475,000 employees that economists expected.
Lauren MuskettDecember 2, 2020

U.S. private sector employers added 307,000 workers from October to November, according to the ADP Research Institute’s National Employment Report. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected 475,000 workers would be added in November.

The jobs report comes as a surge in COVID-19 cases has led some governments to begin imposing new social-distancing restrictions. Employers had added 404,000 jobs the previous month, according to ADP.

“While November saw employment gains, the pace continues to slow,” Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, said in a statement. “Job growth remained positive across all industries and sizes.”

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Major stock market indices appeared unchanged by the news.

The Department of Labor is expected to report the economy added 440,000 jobs when it reports its figures on Friday, well below the 638,000 jobs that it reported in October.

Most of the hiring came from medium-sized firms with 50 to 499 workers, the ADP report found. The service industry, which typically adds most of the jobs, saw growth of 276,000 jobs during the month. Medium-sized firms added 139,000 jobs. Smaller companies added 110,000. Larger firms added 58,000 jobs, down from 116,000 in October. The hospitality sector added 95,000 jobs.

The ADP’s report is based on payroll data from 460,000 U.S. clients that employ nearly 26 million workers in the U.S.

“We expected a much weaker number, so this is something of a relief,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Shepherdson said the ADP number has often underestimated the government’s nonfarm payroll count during the health crisis and that the ADP’s figure was consistent with the addition of as many as 750,000 jobs in November.

The U.S. lost more than 20 million jobs in April alone, according to the ADP report, as the pandemic ravaged the economy before hiring rebounded over the summer.

Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images