National employment ended 2017 strongly, ADP reports

Private-sector employment grew by a quarter of a million jobs between November and December, according to the latest National Employment Report from Roseland-based ADP.

The payroll and human resources company said in a news release that December saw a 250,000-job increase in nonfarm private employment. Medium-sized businesses — with 50 to 499 employees — led the way, adding 100,000 positions. Small businesses of less than 50 employees added 94,000 jobs, while large businesses with more than 500 employees added 56,000 for the month.

“We’ve seen yet another month where the labor market has shown no signs of slowing,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “Throughout the year, there was significant growth in services, except for an overall loss of jobs in the shrinking information sector. Looking at company size, small businesses finished out 2017 on a high note, adding more than double their monthly average for the past six months.”

It was a good month for both the services sector, which added 222,000 jobs, and the goods-producing sector, which grew by 28,000 jobs. Among industries, professional and business services added 72,000 jobs, while construction led the way for goods-producing industries, gaining 16,000 positions. The information industry was the lone loser, seeing a decline of 4,000 jobs.

“The job market ended the year strongly,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which collaborates on the report. “Robust Christmas sales prompted retailers and delivery services to add to their payrolls. The tight labor market will get even tighter, raising the specter that it will overheat.”

ADP revised its November figures downward slightly, to 185,000 jobs gained, from the previous estimate of 190,000.