The U.S. economy added 204,000 private, non-farm jobs in April according to the monthly employment report released today by payroll-management firm ADP and its partner Moody's Analytics. The seasonally adjusted result is 10.5 percent lower than March's downwardly revised addition of 228,000 jobs, and marks a 31.6 percent increase from last April, when 155,000 jobs were created.
“The labor market continues to maintain a steady pace of strong job growth with little sign of a slowdown,” said ADP Research Institute vice president and co-head Ahu Yildirmaz in a press release. “However, as the labor pool tightens it will become increasingly difficult for employers to find skilled talent. Job gains in the highskilled professional and business services industry accounted for more than half of all jobs added this month. The construction industry, which also relies on skilled labor, continued its six-month trend of steady job gains as well.”
In spite of this growth, economists still worry about the volatility of an overheated economy.
“Despite rising trade tensions, more volatile financial markets, and poor weather, businesses are adding a robust more than 200,000 jobs per month," said Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi. "At this pace, unemployment will soon be in the threes, which is rarified and risky territory, as the economy threatens to overheat."
Small businesses—firms that employ between one and 49 employees—gained 62,000 jobs in April. Within that data set, firms that employ fewer than 20 people and firms that have 20 to 49 employees each added 31,000 jobs. Mid-sized businesses—those with 50 to 499 employees—accounted for the largest share of employment gains by company size for the sixth consecutive month, with 88,000 positions added last month. Large businesses consisting of 500 employees or more added 54,000 jobs. Within that figure, businesses employing 500 to 999 people gained 12,000 jobs, and companies with 1,000 or more employees added 42,000 positions.
The service-providing sector—which has anchored the ADP's job report for 13 consecutive months—contributed 78 percent (160,000) of total job gains in April. The service-providing sector includes jobs in professional and business services; trade/transportation/utilities; information; financial activities; education and health; leisure and hospitality; and other services. Six of the seven subsectors experienced growth in April, with only the information subsector reporting a decrease of 2,000 jobs. Prior to last month's report, the information subsector had reported job losses for six consecutive months.
The professional and business services subsector—which includes architecture and engineering firms—has been on an upward trajectory for the past year. Employment in the subsector continued to grow last month, with the addition of 58,000 jobs, accounting for 36 percent of all service-providing sector jobs added in April.
The goods-producing sector, which includes jobs in natural resources and mining, construction, and manufacturing, added 44,000 jobs. Employment in the sector has continued to improve since June 2017, when the sector reported net-zero job growth due to significant losses in construction employment. The construction subsector saw an increase of 27,000 jobs in April, accounting for 61 percent of all jobs added in the goods-producing sector last month. Employment in the natural resources/mining subsector was modest, with the addition of 7,000 employees, while the manufacturing subsector added 10,000 new positions.
ADP's national employment report is often used as a precursor for the monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report, which will release its April edition on Friday.
For more information, read the full employment report from ADP.