ADP Comes Right On Target

And... goldilocks. The ADP report, which was expected to print at 206K came just where it was expected, at 209K, almost magically so, in what is probably the closest number to consensus in a long time. The previous number was revised to 230K, which means this was the 2nd drop in 3 months, and the first drop of the 3 month rolling average in the past 6 months: peak private jobs? And while the ADP has historically been a horrendous predictor of the NFP headline, this gives no actionable hint to those wishing to trade the payroll data, which in turn means that if Bernanke wants to undo his "New QE" skepticism, the decision will have to wait until Friday when equities are closed.

From the Press Release:

Private-sector employment increased by 209,000 from February to March on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report® released today. The ADP National Employment Report, created by Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP®), in partnership with Macroeconomic Advisers, LLC, is derived from actual payroll data and measures the change in total nonfarm private employment each month. Estimated gains for previous months were revised higher; the gain from December to January was revised up by 9,000 to 182,000, and the gain from January to February was revised up by 14,000 to 230,000.

The job breakdown is as follows:

U.S. Nonfarm Private Employment Highlights – March 2012 Report:

  • Total employment: +209,000
  • Small businesses:* +100,000
  • Medium businesses:** +87,000
  • Large businesses:*** +22,000
  • Goods-producing sector: + 45,000
  • Service-providing sector: +164,000


  • Manufacturing industry: + 23,000

More from the PR:

According to Joel Prakken, Chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, LLC, “Labor market conditions continue to improve at a moderate pace. Employment grew in all the major sectors of the economy tracked in The Report, and across payrolls of all sizes. Today’s data marks the twenty-sixth consecutive monthly gain in private employment as measured in The Report.


“The March increase in private employment suggests that the national unemployment rate may have declined slightly last month. It would also be consistent with other indicators suggesting some firming of labor market conditions, such as the downward trend in unemployment claims and upturns in the components of consumer sentiment and confidence influenced by perceptions about the availability of jobs.”


Prakken added: “Employment on medium payrolls—those with 50 to 499 workers—rose 87,000 in March. Employment on large payrolls—those with 500 or more workers—increased 22,000 during that same period.”

Source: here and here