Economic Report: Private-sector job growth sizzles in December, with 250,000 jobs added, ADP says

January 04
19:04 2018

The numbers: ADP’s private-payrolls tracker increased by 250,000 in December.

What happened: Private-sector hiring was stronger than expected in December, according to payroll processor ADP. Employers added 250,000 jobs, more than the 188,000 jobs forecast by economists surveyed by Econoday. November’s tally was revised down by 5,000, however.

Almost all of the December gain was in the service-providing sector, which accounted for 222,000 of the jobs. Within services, the trade/transportation/utilities category made up 45,000 of those jobs, a sign of the continued dominance of e-commerce.

Big picture: The job market ended the year on a strong note. As Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, which produces the report in conjunction with ADP, put it, “The tight labor market will get even tighter, raising the specter that it will overheat.”

Also read: Hiring like it’s 1999: U.S. jobs market hasn’t been this good in decades

Market reaction: “The December ADP estimate has tended to be particularly unreliable,” wrote Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics, before the release.

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch anticipate the Labor Department’s nonfarm payrolls report will show a gain of 198,000 jobs in December, when it’s released Friday.

Also read: How much the tax cuts could juice the economy, in one chart

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