Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=202849
Story Retrieval Date: 5/24/2013 2:58:32 PM CST
ADP data showing total number of employed and number of new jobs added.
Private business sector adds jobs, ADP says
Private employers created jobs at a slightly faster-than-expected rate in February, offering an additional signal that the nation’s economy is gaining momentum, according to a report released Wednesday by the payroll processing company Automatic Data Processing Inc.
U.S. businesses added 216,000 jobs last month, topping the 215,000 that economists surveyed by Bloomberg LP had been expecting. February’s jobs growth was substantially stronger than January’s 170,000.
Economists and Wall Street investors watch the ADP report for clues about the crucial federal jobs report that comes out two days later.
ADP’s results are not always in sync with the figures released later by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some feel the ADP figures are not in sync with what is really going on in the job market.
“I really don’t pay too much attention to the data or believe it,” said office worker Patricia Padavonia, 45, of Buffalo Grove. “There are a lot of secretaries walking the streets looking for jobs,” she added.
“It sure doesn’t feel like jobs are being added. There are still an awful lot of people looking for work right now," argued Lisa Keim, 46, a legal assistant from Oak Lawn.
"If there are only a few people doing what you do, your chances of finding a job are much greater,” said Tifani Lyons, 31, an accountant from Chicago. “I haven’t seen too much difficulty for those in my profession,” she added.
The ADP report showed that half of the new jobs were added by small businesses, but some experts say that figure is a bit fuzzy.
“Small business doesn’t necessarily mean small business" explained Adolfo Laurenti, chief economist at Mesirow Financial. “New businesses that are creating jobs tend to be by definition a small business,” Laurenti added.
For the record, the ADP report defines a small business as one with fewer than 50 employees.
In order to maintain the current employment rate, the economy needs to add 110,000 to 120,000 jobs every month, according to Laurenti.
Overall, the ADP data was good news, but experts say the trend may not be sustainable.
Large companies with 500 or more employees only hired 20,000 new workers compared with 108,000 new hired by small businesses. Medium-sized businesses, which have 50-499 employees, added 88,000 jobs in February, the report said.
“Make no mistake, in order to maintain 200,000 plus new jobs per month, big businesses have to start pitching in more,” Laurenti added.
The ADP report tracks only private-sector jobs, in contrast to the BLS report, which gathers job data from the public sector as well. Currently, with financially stressed state and local governments cutting workers, the public sector is expected to be a negative number, pulling down the total figure.