Private Sector Job Growth Hit a Six-Month Low in November

The labor market is showing signs of slowing down.

According to a report from ADP, private sector employment in the United States rose by 67,000 in November, far less than economists’ bets of a 140,000 hike and the fewest number of workers hired in six months. It also follows a downwardly revised 125,000 job gains in October to 121,000.

Collaborating with Moody’s Analytics to produce the monthly data, the payroll processor found that all increases were in the service-providing sector, which added 85,000 jobs last month. While education and health employers filled up 39,000 roles, professional or business services added 28,000. However, the trade, transportation and utilities category lost 15,000 jobs, and the information category dropped 8,000.

Goods producers similarly recorded a loss: Employers in natural resources and mining, construction and manufacturing shed 6,000 jobs each. On Monday, data from the Institute for Supply Management showed that manufacturing activity contracted for the fourth consecutive month in November, along with a drop in construction spending in October.

“The job market is losing its shine,” said Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi. “Manufacturers, commodity producers and retailers are shedding jobs. Job openings are declining, and if job growth slows any further, unemployment will increase.”

Last month’s weaker-than-anticipated figure comes as trade tensions, worker shortages and fears of an impending recession continue to plague American companies and investors. Further, the ADP report also noted that small business employment in November edged up by 11,000, while mid- and large-size firms tacked on a respective 29,000 and 27,000 jobs.

“Job creation slowed across all company sizes,” added Ahu Yildirmaz, VP and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “However, the pattern remained largely the same, as small companies continued to face more pressure than their larger competitors.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is scheduled to release November’s jobs report on Friday.

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