U.S. businesses added fewer workers in September than August, according to payroll processor ADP. The group said Wednesday that companies added 162,000 jobs last month, well below August's 189,000 (which was already revised downwards).
"Small businesses added 81,000 while medium-sized firms gained 64,000, with large companies generating just 17,000 for the month," CNBC notes. "Services firms were responsible for 144,000 of the jobs, while manufacturing generated just 4,000 new positions."
And as writers at Zero Hedge note, ADP's manufacturing number is the most interesting piece of data in the entire report.
"Perhaps the only relevant datapoint in the entire ADP report is that manufacturing jobs added were 4,000 in September. Only 996,000 more to go until we hit the president's solemn promise of revitalizing US manufacturing," the Hedge notes.
Depressingly enough, September’s numbers are actually higher than economists had originally estimated (talk about setting the bar low, right?). Also, it’s important to keep in mind ADP numbers are usually "volatile and dramatically" different (i.e. overshoot) than official government numbers.
But even if the ADP report is accurate, these numbers wouldn't be enough to push down the unemployment rate, which has been above 8 percent for three and a half years. About 100,000 new jobs are needed each month just to keep up with the growth of the working-age population. Twice as many are typically needed on a consistent basis to bring unemployment down rapidly.
Furthermore, the ADP report only covers hiring in the private sector and excludes government employment. The Labor Department will offer a more complete picture of September hiring on Friday. Considering how close we are to Election Day, that report will be a very, very big deal (politically speaking, of course).
Here's a breakdown of the data [via Zero Hedge]:
Many analysts claim growth will stay at about 2 percent for the rest of this year.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report. Front page photo courtesy ZH.