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U.S. firms add 239,000 jobs, boosted by leisure sector, ADP says

Nov. 2, 2022 Updated Wed., Nov. 2, 2022 at 5:49 p.m.

A hiring sign is posted outside a restaurant in Huntington Park, Calif., on March 24, 2021.   (Jessica Pons/Bloomberg)
A hiring sign is posted outside a restaurant in Huntington Park, Calif., on March 24, 2021.  (Jessica Pons/Bloomberg)
By Augusta Saraiva Bloomberg News

Hiring at U.S. companies increased in October by more than forecast, mainly reflecting a surge in leisure and hospitality and underscoring resilient labor demand despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to cool the economy.

Private payrolls rose 239,000 last month after a revised 192,000 gain in September, according to data from ADP Research Institute in collaboration with Stanford Digital Economy Lab. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 185,000 advance.

In addition to the 210,000 increase at leisure and hospitality companies, payrolls rose in trade, transportation and utilities. Employment in information, manufacturing and financial services declined.

“This is a really strong number given the maturity of the economic recovery but the hiring was not broad-based,” Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP, said Wednesday in a statement. “Goods producers, which are sensitive to interest rates, are pulling back, and job changers are commanding smaller pay gains.”

A resilient job market has fueled fast wage growth, contributing to rapid inflation and putting pressure on the Fed to aggressively tighten monetary policy.

Central bankers are expected to raise interest rates by another 75 basis points later on Wednesday as the labor market continues to send mixed signals on the health of the economy. Figures on Tuesday showed the number of available positions unexpectedly rose in September.

The data from ADP precede the government’s payrolls report on Friday, which is forecast to show hiring cooled down in October and the unemployment rate edged up from a five-decade low.

West leads

The ADP figures showed payroll gains were also concentrated in the West, which added 229,000 employees. The Midwest and South posted declines.

The report also includes fresh insights into wage growth, which has been among the Fed’s main concerns as recent gains fuel consumers’ purchasing power and add to widespread price pressures.

Those who changed jobs experienced a 15.2% pay increase from a year ago, extending a string of monthly decelerations and suggesting workers’ bargaining power may be starting to erode. For those who stayed at their job, the median increase in annual pay was 7.7%.

After a hiatus earlier this year, ADP returned with its employment report a few months ago to include updated methodology and historical jobs data on a monthly and weekly basis for the last 12 years. The figures are based on payroll transactions of more than 25 million U.S. workers.

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