ADP: Private-sector jobs up 164K in December; annual pay up 5.4%

Private-sector job gains rose for the fourth straight month in December, led by a healthy bump in leisure and hospitality hiring. Private-sector employment increased by 164,000 and annual pay was up 5.4% year-over-year, according to the December ADP National Employment Report.

Construction held strong in the face of high interest rates, but manufacturing continued to struggle, notching another month of losses.

“We’re returning to a labor market that’s very much aligned with pre-pandemic hiring,” Nela Richardson, chief economist, ADP, said. “While wages didn’t drive the recent bout of inflation, now that pay growth has retreated, any risk of a wage-price spiral has all but disappeared.”

When looking at where the jobs surfaced in the goods producing sector, construction increased by 24,000 positions. In the service producing sector, leisure/hospitality added 59,000 spots and education/health services added 42,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, manufacturing experienced the biggest decline, losing 13,000.

Pay growth for job-stayers rose 5.4% in December, slowing from 5.6% a month earlier and continuing a deceleration that began in September 2022.