The private sector boosted employment by 534,000 jobs in November, payroll giant ADP reported Wednesday, in a sign of continuing economic recovery despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and emerging variants.
Small businesses added 115,000 jobs, including 62,000 at companies with between one and 19 employees, and 53,000 at businesses with between 20 and 49 employees. Medium-sized businesses with between 50 and 499 employees gained 142,000 jobs. Large businesses added 277,000 jobs, including 43,000 at companies with between 500 and 999 employees and 234,000 at organizations with 1,000 employees or more.
The service-providing sector added 424,000 jobs in November, including 110,000 in professional and business services such as accounting and tax preparation, and 13,000 in financial activities like banking. The goods-producing sector gained 110,000 jobs, including 52,000 in construction and 50,000 in manufacturing. Franchises added 35,300 jobs.
“The labor market posted its second month of solid gains,” said ADP chief economist Nela Richardson during a conference call Wednesday with reporters. “In November, private sector payrolls rose by 534,000 on net. That raises the three-month average to 543,000. This is a small uptick from the 478,000 jobs gained in the first nine months of the year. Job gains have eclipsed 15 million since the recovery began, but we’re still 5 million jobs short of where we were pre-pandemic.”
The impact of the recently detected omicron variant could crimp the job market, but the impact of the earlier delta variant on jobs seems to be fading now.
“Job gains have been impressive for three straight months since the delta-induced summer slowdown, and there are good signs for it to continue. Initial claims for unemployment insurance are close to historic lows,” said Richardson. “Job openings are plentiful, hovering currently around record highs, and the share of workers quitting can be regarded as a good signal. Generally, we see higher quit rates when there are more plentiful job opportunities, and certainly when you look at job openings, that’s the case now. It’s too early to tell the impact of omicron on the labor market, but the risk will be driven by our behavior, how comfortable they are with the potential risks of the variant, and what those concerns will be. It will also depend on whether and how long borders are closed, and also whether this new variant leads to any strains on supply. But those strains on supply currently don’t seem to be affecting the goods market.”