The numbers: Companies in the U.S. added 213,000 jobs in January, ADP reported Wednesday, another strong reading that suggests little letdown in a steadily growing economy.
Wall Street economists had forecast an increase of 174,000.
ADP trimmed its original estimate of new jobs in December to 263,000 from 271,000.
What happened: Big companies added 66,000 new jobs in January, midsize firms filled 84,000 jobs and small businesses increased employment by 63,000.
White-collar professional jobs increased by 46,000 and health care was not far behind, but gains were also strong for blue-collar work in manufacturing (33,000) and construction (35,000).
Economists use the figures from ADP, the payroll processor for millions of American workers, to get a sense of how many new jobs the government’s employment report is likely to show a few days later. These two reports sometimes vary significantly month to month, though they move in the same direction over time.
The U.S. probably added 174,000 new jobs in January, with the unemployment rate sticking to 3.9%, according to the MarketWatch forecast. The Labor Department’s report, which comes out Friday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, includes government as well as private-sector workers.
Big picture: The economy is still chugging along even though growth has appeared to slow. The partial government shutdown acted as a bit of a drag and the first quarter tends to be weaker than other quarters owing to seasonal variations in the economy.
There is some worry the economy could get worse, especially with global growth slackening. The Federal Reserve has signaled it might wait until midyear to raise interest rates again in a sign of caution. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will hold a news conference on Wednesday afternoon.
What they are saying?: “In general, while ADP has an inconsistent record of accuracy versus the initially-published government data, it often provides a useful guideline to the official report, and in recent months it has done particularly well,” wrote chief economist Joshua Shapiro of MFR Inc.
Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average
and S&P 500
rose sharply in Wednesday trades as tech stocks advanced following Apple
earnings. Strong Boeing
results also added to the gains.
Meanwhile, the 10-year Treasury yield
edged slightly higher to 2.73%.