Companies added jobs at a robust pace in November despite worries about rising inflation and the threat that the pandemic could slow growth into the winter months, according to a report Wednesday from payroll processing firm ADP.
Private hiring increased by 534,000 for the month, better than the Dow Jones estimate of 506,000 in a labor market that appears to be getting tighter. The total was a decline from the October growth of 570,000, which was revised lower by 1,000.
Big business led job creation by company size, but it was hospitality and leisure that led in the sectors.
The industry that includes bars, restaurants, hotels and similar businesses saw a gain of 136,000, part of the 424,000 positions added in the services sector.
Those also posting strong gains included professional and business services with 110,000, trade, transportation and utilities with 78,000, and education and health services, which added 55,000.
On the goods-producing side, construction saw growth of 52,000 while manufacturing was up 50,000.
Companies employing 500 or more added 277,000 for the month, with growth especially strong in those with 1,000 or more workers, which contributed 234,000. Medium-sized firms hired 142,000 while those with fewer than 50 employees added 115,000.
The ADP report, done in conjunction with Moody’s Analytics, comes amid worries that the omicron variant of Covid-19 could interfere with what was expected to be strong four-quarter growth.
“The labor market recovery continued to power through its challenges last month,” said ADP chief economist Nela Richardson. “Service providers, which are more vulnerable to the pandemic, have dominated job gains this year. It’s too early to tell if the Omicron variant could potentially slow the jobs recovery in coming months.”
According to ADP’s count, which can differ substantially from the Labor Department’s official numbers, private job growth has averaged 543,000 for the past three months and 491,000 for all of 2021. The Labor Department’s monthly payrolls report, which includes government jobs, has averaged 529,000 this year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report for November that will be released Friday is expected to show growth of 573,000 jobs, following October’s 531,000. The unemployment rate also is forecast to edge lower to 4.5%, according to Dow Jones estimates.