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Dec. 1, 2021, 9:28 a.m. EST

Private sector has third straight month of ‘solid’ job gains, ADP says

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By Greg Robb

The numbers: Private payrolls rose by a “solid” 534,000 in November, according to the ADP National Employment Report released Wednesday. 

Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had forecast a gain of 506,000 private-sector jobs in November.

The ADP report is produced with Moody’s Analytics.

Key details: Service sector providers added 424,000 jobs in November. Meanwhile, goods producers gained 110,000 jobs. Manufacturing added 50,000 jobs.

By company size, large businesses added 277,000 private-sector jobs in November while medium businesses, defined as firms with 50 to 499 employees, added 142,000 jobs. Small businesses added 115,000 jobs.

The report does not reflect any impact on the labor market from the omicron variant.

Big picture:   This is the third straight month of job gains above 500,000. The data may offer a preview of the Labor Department’s monthly employment report to be released Friday. Economists are forecasting another strong job report in November. According to the Wall Street Journal survey, economists anticipate a gain of 573,000 jobs last month after 531,000 jobs were added in October. The unemployment rate is expected to inch lower to 4.5% from 4.6% in the prior month.

What ADP said about the data: Job gains have eclipsed 15 million since the recovery from the pandemic began in the summer of 2020. But payrolls remain about 5 million short of pre-pandemic levels. Reasons people remained sidelined are “unique,” “varied” and “hard to generalize,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP, during a press call for reporters after the data was released.

What economists are saying: “The U.S. labor market has regained steam, but considerable uncertainty surrounds the outlook given the concerning emergence of the omicron Covid variant,” said Lydia Boussour, economist at Oxford Economics. There are still concerns about the pandemic and some workers were able to retire early given the strong stock market.

Market reaction: Stocks /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.54% /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.85% were expected to open higher on Wednesday after a selloff in the prior day’s trading session triggered by expectations of a faster Federal Reserve taper.

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