U.S. companies have created the most jobs in four months, suggesting employers are making progress to fill near-record openings.
Business payrolls increased by 571,000 last month, after a revised gain of 523,000 in September, according to data from the ADP Research Institute released Wednesday. The median forecast from a Bloomberg survey of economists predicted an increase of 400,000.
Companies are desperate to hire workers as labor shortages continue to weigh on production and drive up prices. Yet total employment measured by ADP remains well below its pre-pandemic level, suggesting that higher wages and signing bonuses are not enough to attract and retain talent in a job market. where job seekers are increasingly demanding.
The data precedes Friday’s monthly employment report from the Ministry of Labor, which is expected to show private wages rose by 408,000 in October. While ADP numbers don’t always follow the same pattern as Labor Department data, the acceleration could point to a strong October report.
Employment of service providers rose by 458,000 in October, the highest number since June, led by payrolls at leisure and hospitality businesses and professional and commercial businesses.
The wage bill for goods producers increased by 113,000, reflecting the largest hiring increases in construction and manufacturing since September 2020.
“The job market is picking up steam as the Delta wave of the pandemic ends,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said in a statement. âAs long as the pandemic remains contained, larger job gains are likely in the months to come.
Firms with more than 1,000 workers added 305,000 people to their payroll, while small businesses posted a gain of 115,000.
ADP’s payroll data represents companies employing nearly 26 million workers in the United States.