The U.S. economy added 154,000 private, non-farm jobs in September, according to the monthly employment report released today by payroll-management firm ADP and its partner Moody's Analytics. The seasonally adjusted number reflects a decrease from July's downward-revised 175,000 jobs, and marks a 10 percent drop from September 2015, when 171,000 new jobs were added.
"The economy is growing at a remarkably stable pace," Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi said in a conference call this morning. "The (job) gains were broadly distributed across industries and company sizes."
About 22 percent (34,000) of the payroll additions in September occurred at businesses with fewer than 50 employees, a figure significantly lower than in previous months. Within that figure, firms employing fewer than 20 individuals accounted for roughly half (17,000) of those additions.
The slowdown in small businesses could be attributed to several months of payroll reduction previously seen in the construction industry, which is dominated by small companies, Zandi said.
For the first time in four months, employment in the construction sector picked up, with 11,000 jobs lost in September. Manufacturing shed 6,000 jobs, and the professional and business services sector—which includes architecture and engineering firms—continued to add jobs, creating 45,000 new payroll positions during the same period.
"Broadly speaking, we are now enjoying the longest string of consecutive monthly job gains in history," Zandi concluded. "The ADP numbers suggest that there's no sign that (growth) is gonna change soon."
Starting from the October report, the ADP index would be modified with an enhanced model to cover more industries and improve the accuracy of estimates.
For more information, read the full employment report from ADP.