First Look at May: ADP Says 253K New Nonfarm Private Jobs

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 ADP May estimate of 253K new nonfarm private employment jobs, an increase over April's 174K, which was a downward revision of 3K.

The 253K estimate came in well above the Investing.com consensus of 185K for the ADP number.

The Investing.com forecast for the forthcoming BLS report is also for 185K nonfarm new jobs (the actual PAYEMS number) and the unemployment rate to remain at 4.4%.

Here is an excerpt from today's ADP report:

“May proved to be a very strong month for job growth,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “Professional and business services had the strongest monthly increase since 2014. This may be an indicator of broader strength in the workforce since these services are relied on by many industries.”

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics said, “Job growth is rip-roaring. The current pace of job growth is nearly three times the rate necessary to absorb growth in the labor force. Increasingly, businesses’ number one challenge will be a shortage of labor.”

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 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