First Look At February: ADP Says 183K 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 February estimate of 183K new nonfarm private employment jobs, a decrease over the ADP revised January figure of 300K.

The 183K estimate came in below the consensus of 189K for the ADP number.

The forecast for the forthcoming BLS report is for 170K new nonfarm private jobs and the unemployment rate to drop to 3.9%. Their forecast for the February full nonfarm new jobs is (the PAYEMS number) 180K.

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

“We saw a modest slowdown in job growth this month,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “Midsized companies have been the strongest performer for the past year. There was a sharp decline in small business growth as these firms continue to struggle with offering competitive wages and benefits.”

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “The economy has throttled back and so too has job growth. The job slowdown is clearest in the retail and travel industries, and at smaller companies. Job gains are still strong, but they have likely seen their high watermark for this expansion.”

Here is a visualization of the two series over the previous twelve months.


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