U.S. employers added 174,000 jobs in January, ADP says

Private-sector employment edged higher in January, with the U.S. gaining 174,000 jobs during the year’s first month, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

The Roseland-based human resources and payroll firm said in its monthly report that midsized businesses, with 50-499 employees, led the way, gaining 84,000 jobs. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees added 51,000 workers, while large businesses with 500 or more workers added 39,000 jobs.

The service-providing sector gained 156,000 jobs for the month, while the goods-producing sector added 19,000. Education/health services led the way among industries, adding 54,000 jobs for the month. Professional/business services gained 40,000 positions, while leisure/hospitality added 35,000.

Of the 10 major industries listed, only one, information, lost jobs, at -2,000 for the month, while natural resources/mining broke even.

“The labor market continues its slow recovery amid COVID-19 headwinds,” Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, said in a prepared statement. “Although job losses were previously concentrated among small and midsized businesses, we are now seeing signs of the prolonged impact of the pandemic on large companies, as well.”

The December job losses narrowed, from the estimated 123,000 jobs lost to a smaller 78,000 positions lost.

The report is based on ADP’s payroll data, representing 460,000 U.S. clients employing nearly 26 million workers.