Private sector job creation popped higher in October thanks to a burst in hiring in the hospitality sector, payroll processing firm ADP reported Wednesday.
Companies added 571,000 for the month, beating the 395,000 Dow Jones estimate and just ahead of September’s downwardly revised 523,000. It was the best month for jobs since June.
Leisure and hospitality, a category that includes bars, restaurants, hotels and the like, saw a gain of 185,000 for a sector that remains well below its pre-pandemic employment level. The sector is seen as a proxy for an economic recovery that stalled over the summer due to a rise in the Covid delta variant and a massive clog in supply lines.
“The job market is revving back up as the delta wave of the pandemic winds down,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, which aids ADP in compiling the report. “Job gains are accelerating across all industries, and especially among large companies. As long as the pandemic remains contained, more big job gains are likely in coming months.”
Growth in the sector helped fuel an overall 458,000 gain in services jobs.
Professional and business services also contributed 88,000 hires, trade transportation and utilities added 78,000, and education and health services jobs were up 56,000.
On the goods-producing side, which added 113,000 positions, construction was up 54,000 and manufacturing contributed 53,000.
From a size standpoint, businesses with more than 500 employees by far led the way with 342,000 new hires. Businesses with fewer than 50 workers added 115,000 and medium-sized firms increased by 114,000.
The ADP report comes two days before the Labor Department’s more closely watched nonfarm payrolls count, which is projected to show an increase of 450,000, according to Dow Jones.
While ADP can serve as a precursor to the government’s count, the two can differ widely.
In September, ADP’s tally of private payroll creation – initially at 568,000 before being revised lower by 45,000 – was well above the Labor Department’s 317,000. The total nonfarm payrolls count for September was just 194,000, well below estimates and held back by a loss of 123,000 government jobs.