Companies have successfully recruited new hires in the fastest pace seen over 7 months during December 2021 ahead of the Omicron variant and new concerns regarding the recent surge. This is in accordance to a report on Wednesday from Automatic Data Processing (ADP), a firm specializing in payroll processing.
Job growth in the private sector totaled to over 806,000 for December which nearly tripled the expectation of Dow Jones for just over 375,000 and November's increase of 505,000. This total represents the best figure for the job market since May 2021, an amount calculated at 882,000 according to ADP's data.
The hiring process took place across a multitude of industries. Yet, the hospitality and leisure business led the game with over 245,000 newly added positions. Next in line came utilities, trade, and transportation contributing approximately 138,000, business and professional services increasing by 130,000 and health and education adding 85,000.
Despite the fact that service-related jobs led with nearly 670,000 hires, goods producers demonstrated strong gains as well. Construction and manufacturing contributed 62,000 and 74,000 new jobs to the total, respectively.
These gains were reported during the same month in which soaring rates of cases for COVID-19 sparked a renewed sense of dread with respect to an economic slowdown. As the Omicron variant runs rampant, the United States passed over a million new cases per day. Still, the aforementioned ADP report as part of a compilation for Moody's Analytics only covers data through the middle of last month, before the escalation worsened to what it is now.
According to ADP chief economist Nela Richardson, the job market in December strengthened from the fade of the Delta variant and before the impact of Omicron was seen. This press release was delivered two days prior to the more specific payrolls report for nonfarmers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which has been projected to display a growth of just over 420,000 in accordance with an estimation from Dow Jones.
Each of the two counts are liable to show a substantial difference. ADP tallied an average of approximately 441,000 per month while the BLS saw a mean value of 483,500.
Private Companies Lead Despite General Workforce Decline
Private businesses housing more than 500 employees accounted for the majority of December's gains by adding 389,000 new jobs. Firms of medium size added about 214,000 while small businesses possessing less than 50 employees contributed nearly 205,000.
Rapid hiring during such a time is a reflection of the trends in weekly unemployment claims which have seen the lowest levels in over 5 decades. However, the total number of employed workers remains far below levels preceding the pandemic. Even with the rate of unemployment dropping from a high of about 15% to its current figure of 4.2%, there are almost 3.6 million fewer Americans working in comparison to February 2020. Furthermore, the conglomerate workforce has reduced by 2.4 million with a 1.5% reduced participation rate.
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