Though Off Last Year’s Average, Job Growth Remains Steady

Job growth held steady in July as private employers hired an additional 179,000 workers during the month, just slightly more than what economists were expecting.

The report this morning from HR services firm ADP, shows that U.S. job growth continues strong, if down from the highs of 2015.

“Job growth remains strong, but is moderating as the economy approaches full employment,” explained Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics which partners with ADP in producing the Monthly Employment Report.

“Businesses are having a more difficult time filling open job positions, which are near record highs. The nation’s biggest economic problem will soon be the lack of available workers.”

Small businesses in particular seem to be struggling to find workers. Those with fewer than 50 workers grew payrolls by 61,000 in July, down from the 86,000 in June. This year, these businesses on average have added 82,000 new jobs each month, well off last year’s average for the same 7 months of 106,000.

In July, said the ADP report,  mid- and large employers added 68,000 and 50,000 new jobs respectively.

Article Continues Below

Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and head of the ADP Research Institute, said, “As the labor market continues to tighten, small businesses may increasingly face challenges when it comes to offering wages that can compete with larger businesses.” July ADP 2016 industry snapshot

Private sector job growth averaged 184,000 this year compared to 209,000 in 2015. The slowdown hit hardest in the second quarter when, according to the ADP numbers, monthly job growth averaged 169,000 new jobs compared to 230,000 last year.

However, Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, acknowledging that job growth was  “a bit slower,” told told The Wall Street Journal it was “still strong enough to keep the unemployment rate on a gradual downward trend.”

Indeed, economists expect that when the Labor Department releases its monthly jobs report, it will show the unemployment rate declined in July to 4.8% from June’s 4.9%. Additionally, surveys of labor economists show them expecting the government jobs report to show nonfarm payrolls grew in a range from about 175,000 to 185,000.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

Topics