ADP National Employment Report: 192K Private Jobs Added in April

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). However, each month a few days before we receive the highly anticipated jobs report, ADP releases their data on new nonfarm private jobs.

The ADP employment report revealed that 192,000 nonfarm private jobs were added in April, a slowdown from the 208,000 private jobs added in March. The latest reading came in higher than the expected 179,000 addition of new private jobs.

The forecast for the forthcoming BLS report is that 180,000 private nonfarm jobs were added in April. However, the forecast for the full nonfarm jobs (the PAYEMS number) is for 243,000 jobs to have been added. Here is a visualization of the two series over the past twelve months.

ADP employment versus BLS employment

Here is an excerpt from today's ADP report press release:

“Hiring was broad-based in April,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist, ADP. “Only the information sector – telecommunications, media, and information technology – showed weakness, posting job losses and the smallest pace of pay gains since August 2021.”

Here is a snapshot of the monthly change in the ADP headline number since the company's earliest published data with the new methodology in 2010. This is quite a volatile series, so we've plotted the monthly data points as dots along with a six-month moving average, which gives us a clearer sense of the trend. The latest six-month moving average is 158,000, up from 145,000 in March.

ADP Nonfarm Private EmploymentAs we see in the chart above, the trend peaked in September 2015 and then went negative for the first time in late 2019, just before the NBER declared a recession start. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought employment numbers down to levels we have never seen this century. The trend reached a new high in 2021 at 778,000 and has recently dropped back to pre-pandemic levels.