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January 31, 2018 10:15 AM, EST

Companies Add More Jobs Than Forecast, ADP Data Show

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News

Companies in the U.S. added more workers in January than projected, indicating the labor market remains healthy, according to data released Jan. 31 from the ADP Research Institute.

Highlights of ADP Employment for January

• Private payrolls increased by 234,000 (185,000 estimate) after a revised 242,000 increase in December.

• Payrolls in goods-producing industries, which include builders and manufacturers, rose 22,000; factory employment increased 12,000.

• Service providers added 212,000 workers to payrolls, the most since November 2016.

The data show a continuing trend of robust hiring as companies remain desperate for skilled and experienced workers. While steady job gains have yet to filter through into bigger wage growth, companies including Apple Inc., FedEx Corp., and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. offered bonuses in the wake of a Republican tax bill signed by President Donald Trump late last year. FedEx ranks No. 2 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest North American for-hire carriers.

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The January ADP figure compares with the Bloomberg News survey median for an 181,000 increase in private payrolls, when the government issues its monthly jobs report on Feb. 2.

Economists’ View

“The job market juggernaut marches on,” Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pa., said in the statement. Moody’s produces the figures with ADP. “Given the strong January job gain, 2018 is on track to be the eighth consecutive year in which the economy creates over 2 million jobs. If it falls short, it is likely because businesses can’t find workers to fill all the open job positions.”

Other Details

• Construction payrolls increased 9,000.

• Professional and business services added 46,000 workers, and leisure and hospitality also took on 46,000 employees.

• Payrolls in trade, such as retailers, transportation and utilities, increased 51,000 in January, while health care companies took on 41,000 workers.

• Large firms, those employing 500 or more workers, increased staffing by 85,000 jobs; payrolls rose by 91,000 at medium-sized businesses, or those with 50 to 499 employees; and small companies added 58,000 jobs.