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ADP Posts 365K New Jobs, Half the Previous Month

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The morning after Election Day 2020, votes are still being counted. We have yet to come to a realization whether Joe Biden or Donald Trump will have won the White House for the next four years, or the Senate for at least the next two. For those partial to the president, we hear a sigh of relief that a “Blue Wave” promised by Democratic pollsters has not come to fruition. Market indexes are up at this hour, especially the tech-heavy Nasdaq, which is currently 400+ points higher.

New private-sector payroll numbers from Automatic Data Processing ADP came in positive, though not as strongly as expected: 365K new private-sector jobs in October, the lowest total we’ve seen since this past July. This was well below the roughly 600K analysts were looking for, and less than half the upwardly revised 753K in the September report. There were gains across all industries, with Services well outperforming the Goods-producing sector.

Services brought in 348K of the 365K total private-sector jobs last month, led by outsized gains once again in Hospitality, +125K. Education & Health Services was also quite high at +79K. On the other side, 17K of new private-sector Goods jobs came from Construction and Manufacturing, both +7K, with Mining +3K. Mid-sized companies (between 50-499 employees) led the way with 135K, followed by Large and Small companies, at 116K and 114K, respectively.

Estimates for Friday’s non-farm payrolls from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) are currently for 530K new jobs created in October, following 661K posted in September, which itself missed estimates. The Unemployment Rate is expected to tick down 20 basis points to 7.7%. While growth in monthly employment is obviously a good thing for the overall U.S. economy, we’re now expecting just a half to a third of new job gains from that of a couple months ago.

Economic stimulus from Congress successfully helped small businesses and households through the early struggles of the pandemic. But now three months removed from any relief from Capitol Hill, we are seeing that the bike is very wobbly with the training wheels off. A new measure of stimulus is not only welcomed but required in order to keep big economic metrics like monthly jobs totals from slipping back the wrong direction.

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