Following last month's disappointing ADP private payrolls report, when only 179K jobs were created (since revised lower to 157K), whisper numbers for today's ADP report were decidedly lower than the consensus forecast of 180K. Which is why many were surprised when according to ADP, a whopping 271K jobs were created in the last month of 2018, the most since February 2017, and not only beating the Wall Street forecast of 180K, but printing 61K above the highest estimate of 210K.
Under the covers, the job gains were broad based across all company sizes and industries, with the only drop taking place in the mining sector where 2000 jobs were lost. Of note: small businesses enjoyed their strongest month all year.
“We wrapped up 2018 with another month of significant growth in the labor market,“ said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute.
“Although there were increases in most sectors, the busy holiday season greatly impacted both trade and leisure and hospitality. Small businesses also experienced their strongest month of job growth all year.”
Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “Businesses continue to add aggressively to their payrolls despite the stock market slump and the trade war. Favorable December weather also helped lift the job market. At the current pace of job growth, low unemployment will get even lower.”
And a more visual breakdown of where the jobs were created according to ADP, whose predictive accuracy is spotty at best.