People wait in line to enter a job fair. (Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg)

Payroll Gains in U.S. Exceed 200,000 for Fifth Month, ADP Says

(Bloomberg) -- Companies in the U.S. added more than 200,000 workers for a fifth straight month in April, signaling the job market remains strong, according to data released Wednesday from the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey.

Highlights of ADP Employment (April)

  • Private payrolls rose by 204k (est. 198k) after revised 228k gain in March that was smaller than initially reported
  • Payrolls in goods-producing industries, which include builders and manufacturers, increased 44k 
  • Service providers added 160k workers to payrolls

Key Takeaways

The results are a positive sign for private payrolls, which will be released Friday as part of the monthly jobs report by the Labor Department, and suggest the jobless rate will continue to decline.

The ADP figures show demand for labor remains solid across nearly all industries, including construction, professional services and health care. The results also are consistent with projections that steady employment gains will underpin consumer spending. At the same time, wage growth is yet to show a sustained acceleration even as employers complain of a shortage of skilled workers.

Economists’ Views

“Despite rising trade tensions, more volatile financial markets, and poor weather, businesses are adding a robust more than 200,000 jobs per month,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said in a statement. Moody’s produces the figures with ADP. “At this pace, unemployment will soon be in the threes, which is rarified and risky territory, as the economy threatens to overheat.”

“The labor market continues to maintain a steady pace of strong job growth with little sign of a slowdown,” Ahu Yildirmaz, an economist with ADP, said in the statement. “However, as the labor pool tightens it will become increasingly difficult for employers to find skilled talent.”

Other Details

  • Hiring in construction climbed by 27,000; factories added 10,000 workers
  • Professional and business services boosted their workforce by 58,000, while health services added 35,000 workers
  • Payrolls in leisure and hospitality rose 36,000 in April, while employment in trade and transportation increased 14,000
  • Companies employing 500 or more workers increased staffing by 54,000 jobs; payrolls rose by 88,000 at medium-sized businesses, or those with 50 to 499 employees; and small companies’ payrolls climbed 62,000

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