The U.S. economy added 135,000 private, non-farm jobs in September according to the monthly employment report released this morning by payroll-management firm ADP and its partner Moody's Analytics. The seasonally adjusted result is 40.79 percent lower than August's downwardly revised addition of 228,000 jobs, and marks a 37.79 percent decrease over the previous September, when 217,000 jobs were created.
In a conference call with the press this morning, Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, reported that job numbers were impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and estimates that the affect of the storms cut employment by 50-60,000 positions. Between 185,000 and 190,000 new job additions would have been expected if not for the hurricanes. Zandi reports that retail was hardest hit, although the sector has been softer the past 12 months due to competition with online retailers. However, job growth is still strong overall, and construction and manufacturing experienced growth during September. Zandi expects even stronger gains in construction in the coming months, as rebuilding efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma get underway.
“In September, small businesses experienced a dip in hiring,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute in a press release. “This is in part due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which significantly impacted smaller retailers."
Small businesses—those with one to 49 employees—lost 7,000 jobs. Within that figure, firms that employ fewer than 20 people lost 11,000 jobs, and firms that have 20 to 49 employees added a meager 4,000 jobs.
“In addition, the continued slow down we have seen in small business hiring could be due to a lack of competitive compensation to attract skilled talent," Yildirmaz said.
Mid-sized businesses—those with 50 to 499 employees—added 63,000 jobs in August accounting for 46 percent of all new jobs. Large businesses accounted for the largest share of employment gains by company size last month, with businesses employing 500 to 1,000 plus people again making the biggest impact in the monthly report, accounting for 58.51 percent (79,000) of payroll additions. (Large businesses added 115,000 jobs in August.) Companies with 1,000 or more employees accounted for 46 percent of employment growth for large businesses, adding 63,000 of the total 79,000 jobs added by large businesses in September.
By sector, the service-providing sector—which has anchored the ADP's job report for seven consecutive months—contributed 65 percent (88,000) of September's job gains. The service-providing sector includes jobs in trade/transportation/utilities; information; financial activities, professional and business services; education and health; leisure and hospitality; and other services. Five of the seven sub-sectors experienced growth in September, with only the trade/transportation/utilities and information sub-sectors reporting a decrease of 18,000 and 11,000 jobs, respectively.
The professional and business services sub-sector—which includes architecture and engineering firms—has been on an upward trajectory since March, though the sub-sector's pace of job growth ebbed slightly in August. In September, employment picked up again, with 51,000 jobs added in professional and business services, accounting for 57 percent of all new jobs added in the service-providing sector.
The goods-producing sector, which includes jobs in natural resources and mining, construction, and manufacturing, added 48,000 jobs in September—a marked improvement from June when the sector reported net-zero job growth after significant losses in construction and natural resources employment. The construction and manufacturing sub-sectors saw payroll additions of 29,000 and 18,000, respectively in September, a healthy increase from August. Zandi attributes this growth to Hurricane Harvey and Irma. Natural resources and mining added 1,000 jobs in September, after reporting a decrease of 1,000 jobs in August.
Hurricane Harvey and Irma have done significant economic damage to Houston and regions of Florida, and will present a need for additional jobs in construction, the utility industry, and state and local government in the coming months. Zandi anticipates that growth in construction employment will continue to pick up into 2018.
“Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hurt the job market in September," Zandi said in a press release. "Looking through the storms the job market remains sturdy and strong.”
ADP's national employment report is often used as a precursor for the monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report, for which the September version will be released this Friday.
For more information, read the full employment report from ADP.