The U.S. economy added 205,000 private-sector, non-farm jobs in January 2016, according to a monthly employment report released today by payroll-processing company ADP and its partner Moody's Analytics. The seasonally adjusted number dips slightly from December's revised gain of 267,000 jobs but nonetheless is a sign of "rock-solid job growth" across the economy, Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi said in a conference call this morning.
“It sounds like a bit of a broken record," Zandi said. "We’ve been enjoying average monthly job growth of around 200,000 now, going on about four years.” That growth has been broad-based, with nearly every industry adding to their payrolls. However, sliding oil prices and continuing trade uncertainty have led to a few exceptions in markets reporting gains, including the energy sector and some areas of manufacturing.
The biggest contributors to January's slight payroll decline were larger companies—those with 500 or more employees—whose scale makes them particularly vulnerable to current economic conditions. Conversely, in the past year, businesses with fewer than 500 employees have created roughly eight in 10 of the jobs added to the economy, according to the ADP Research Institute.
The report brought positive news for the construction industry. Its gain of 21,000 jobs in January doesn't quite match December's net 24,000 payroll additions but indicates a recovery from its sluggish fall months to match the sector's average growth over the past few years—suggesting that its rebound could be picking up pace, if only slightly.
“[There is] newfound strength over the past year or two in the construction trade and that continued in January,” Zandi said. “[It's] another good month from construction employment, and that’s on top of a pretty solid December number.”
Manufacturing was flat in January, adding no new jobs. Professional and business services, a category that includes architecture and engineering firms, contributed 44,000 jobs last month, significantly less than last year's high of 66,000 jobs added in December. Still, it can be viewed as a positive contribution to the sector's recovery.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is scheduled to release its January jobs report on Friday, which will provide more details about job growth in the architecture, engineering, and construction market.