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Anticipating April Employment: ADP Disappoints at 156K

May 4, 2016

by Doug Short

The economic mover and shaker this week is Friday's employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This monthly report contains a wealth of data for economists, the most publicized being the month-over-month change in Total Nonfarm Employment (the PAYEMS series in the FRED repository).

Today we have the April estimate of 156K new nonfarm private employment jobs from ADP, a decrease from March's 194K, which was a downward revision from 200K.

The 156K estimate came in well below the Investing.com forecast of 196K for the ADP number.

The Investing.com forecast for the forthcoming BLS report is for 202K nonfarm new jobs (the actual PAYEMS number).

Here is an excerpt from today's ADP report:

"Despite the softest overall monthly jobs added in three years, small businesses remained an engine for job growth in April,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, VP and head of the ADP Research Institute. “Smaller businesses are less susceptible to global conditions, such as low commodity prices and the strong dollar, that may have caused larger businesses to ease up on hiring.”

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “The job market appears to have stumbled in April. Job growth noticeably slowed, with some weakness across most sectors. One month does not make a trend, but this bears close watching as the financial market turmoil earlier in the year may have done some damage to business hiring.”

Here is a visualization of the two series over the previous twelve months.

The key difference between the two series is that the BLS series is for Nonfarm Payrolls while ADP tracks private employment.


Here's our complete list of monthly employment updates:

Employment Situation Report

Unemployment Claims

Civilian Labor Force, Unemployment Claims, and the Business Cycle

Labor Market Conditions Index

Long-Term Trends by Age Group

Aging Work Force

Ratio of Part Time and Full Time Employment

Multiple Jobholders

Workforce Recovery Since Recession