ADP shows drop in private employment of 301,000 in January

Payroll processor ADP has released a downbeat employment report for January. From the press release:

Private sector employment decreased by 301,000 jobs from December to January according to the January ADP® National Employment ReportTM. Broadly distributed to the public each month, free of charge, the ADP National Employment Report is produced by the ADP Research Institute® in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics. The report, which is derived from ADP’s actual data of those who are on a company’s payroll, measures the change in total nonfarm private employment each month on a seasonally-adjusted basis.

ADP’s economist notes the breadth of the decline.

“The labor market recovery took a step back at the start of 2022 due to the effect of the Omicron variant and its significant, though likely temporary, impact to job growth,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist, ADP. “The majority of industry sectors experienced job loss, marking the most recent decline since December 2020. Leisure and hospitality saw the largest setback after substantial gains in fourth quarter 2021, while small businesses were hit hardest by losses, erasing most of the job gains made in December 2021.”

Calculated Risk comments that the decline was unanticipated and may also not tell us much about the coming US jobs report.

This was well below the consensus forecast of 208,000 for this report.

The BLS report will be released Friday, and the consensus is for 155 thousand non-farm payroll jobs added in January. The ADP report has not been very useful in predicting the BLS report, but this suggests weakness in the January BLS report.